I know that typically May is seen as the month to celebrate motherhood. But I have decided to make “motherhood” the theme of this bitterly cold, no snow-melting in sight, March. Frankly, I just know my Mays are one of the busiest months of my year (assuming Spring actually does come this year), so I want to take this slower time to feature some inspiring artists and projects before I get behind again on my Fine Art Friday posts (I guess this is my apology in advance..). Oh, and also, it’s my mother’s birthday on March 11th!
For the first March Mothers blog entry, I knew right away I wanted to feature Elinor Carucci. Elinor is a practicing fine art and commercial photographer in NYC with several successful projects and books under her belt. She was also one of my favorite professors at SVA. During a time when I was completely lost with my work, it was she and our critique group that helped guide and support me into photographing subjects that meant something to me. I honestly felt liberated in her class – I became prolific when before I was experiencing an artists block. She was a warm and supportive teacher, yet honest and intelligent at the same time. A word I often used when describing her was “motherly”. So it wasn’t surprising that when I finally got to see her work I realized it was all so HER. Sensitive, observant, vivid, caring, messy, brutally honest, and layered. And, I think, brave.
Her latest, 8 year project is titled “Mother”, and features 8 years of photography documenting her journey from pregnancy through delivery and raising of her twins. I can only post a few images from the collection so I encourage you to look up her work (take a look at Closer too). You can also buy the book on Amazon.
“Acclaimed photographer Elinor Carucci takes on her most challenging and rewarding subject yet: motherhood. When Elinor Carucci gave birth to her twins, she discovered the highs and lows that are part of every new mother’s experience. A noted photographer accustomed to documenting intimate moments, Carucci used her camera to deal with the maelstrom of emotions. She followed her babies as they grew into toddlers, then children, with their own complex relationships. Carucci’s dramatic use of light and shadow and her uncanny ability to capture the freedom with which children express themselves imbue her images with a marvelous clarity. By turns touching, surprising, sensual, joyful, and unflinching, these striking pictures convey moments that are at once personal and universal–a child’s runny nose, a fight between brother and sister, a fast-food meal, a warm embrace, a sleepless night, an ice cream cone. The result, as Francine Prose remarks in her foreword, are images that “seem new, no matter how well we may think we know . . . the experiences and feelings they depict. . . . Nothing, we feel, is left out.” – Amazon
“Mother shifts gear again. It starts with her pregnant with twins and concludes when they are 8 years old – a moment when Caruccci saw a change and a growing independence in her children. The intimacy and sensuality for which she has become so well known is amplified and, as she says in her introduction, she has never seen so much as she does as a mother. Her gaze has certainly become more intense, and her actions stronger, as she hugs, dresses, holds, licks, pulls, feeds, caresses and cares for her children. The little-discussed eroticism that so often exists between mother and child is played out honestly and easily – a beautiful, fluid link between generations.” – Time Lightbox