Shot in 35mm BW film
Read Alice's story & thoughts on his images right after the images gallery.
When most people think of New Jersey in the United States they are overcome with imagery of smokestacks and rowdy beach goers. While this is a part of the atmosphere there is another land further south. Nestled between the Atlantic Ocean and the Delaware Bay is the small town of Cape May. This island has been my home base for many years. And even though I love the historic beauty and salt marshes in this town I am often overcome by wanderlust venturing and spending most of my time in other parts of the country.
A brief part of my history took me to Pittsburgh Pennsylvania where I studied cinema and digital arts. This experience taught me that working in a digital environment was not the route for me. I found something strange about digital camera work that I was unable to make any connection with as an art form. I left school with a desire to express my creative self in a new medium. I chose to pursue my musical career and began to perform with the cyberpunk project “Singine”. Our live act allowed me to create visual displays of various nature to electronic beats dazzling the crowd. Eventually time brought me back to New Jersey were I continued work in a more natural scene. Studying migratory shorebirds and developing aquaculture farms in the Delaware Bay. Always with the urge to branch out creatively I eventually took a position as a chef. While expressing myself through different dishes I happened to encounter the lovely Rose Mckenzie. Through a conversation with her I was given the opportunity to experiment with her cameras. I instantly fell in love with using film as a medium.
Beginning my journey into learning about film photography opened a new world to my eyes. Using analogue devices connects me to any project I am working on more than I ever felt when I had worked digitally. My photographs are not just pieces of art but are very real elements of myself. From the moment I load the film till I finish developing by hand I am connected to my work.
Over time there has been a few questions that tend to arise. This most common being, “Why do you shoot in black and white?” This is very simple, I see something in this medium that is lost in other ways. I do occasionally shoot in color but there is something that simply does not speak to me in the same way that black and white imagery does. Perhaps it is because the world around us is always seen in color and changing the perception of different environments and objects shows something that is unseen in a normal situation.
Another common question is, “Why the self portraits?” I do often find myself shooting self portraits much of the time. There are a number of reasons why I have decided to pursue male nude auto-portraits. In many ways I approach these shots as I am painting a canvas and my body is simply the tools I have at hand. Because much of my work is deeply personal filming myself allows me to channel the thought, or emotion, or story I am trying to convey in a very intimate and meaningful form. In doing so I have found that I have been able to work with a lot of self body images I find in myself. In many ways I have been granted to study not just the human body but my own being through my work.
This is not by any means what I strictly focus on and I am always in search of new lines of creativity visual arts. This leads to another reason that I have chosen to work in self-portraiture. I have always never felt comfortable asking another person to do something I myself am not willing to do. Occasionally I model for myself as a way to experience what it would be like for someone else to be in that specific position or environment. Following the work of other visual artists and having open conversations with models and photographers I have developed a feeling that the photography world would benefit greatly from more nude male models as well as female photographers. This is something that often comes to mind when I think about why I have worked with myself as a subject.
I have had the pleasure of meeting several female photographers and thoroughly enjoy their work. I often find that we all approach our artwork with a different eye, and the greater the amount of diversity the more creativity we are able to experience and share.
This is the greatest part of the human experience. The ability to create, share, and experience the world. This is the basic principle of my works and I am always looking forward to the next project.
Alice Cain, 2018