Nostalgia, is defined as a sentimental longing for the past, typically for a period or place with happy personal associations. This still life series is a study of my personal belongings arranged by color and visually inspired by the childhood game, I Spy. It is a web of memories, ranging from the treasures of scavenger hunts, trinkets of travel, to gifts from family, friends and lovers collected over the years. The images are accompanied by a list of the contents to engage the viewer in a game of I Spy.
In these lushly colored scenes, ordinary objects, such as dolls heads and playing cards, are placed next to articles less familiar to the realm of childhood, including an opium pipe, bird skeletons, a lobster and a teeth mold, to name a few. Such juxtapositions render even the commonplace items strange, exotic and emotionally charged. The photographs thus draw us into the imagination and perspective of a child, for whom the most ordinary of objects can become the material of fantasy, and at the same time conjure the very adult feeling of nostalgia, of longing for a romanticized past.
People collect in an effort to remember and relive the past. We use keepsakes to stimulate memory, especially to trigger fond memories, but even if memory cannot be relied upon to faithfully reproduce a record of the past, it remains vital to our understanding of the past A magical relationship develops between collector and object that is evident in all collecting. Collections can reflect a fascination with the “Other” and the marginal the ephemeral, exotic, or just plain curious. For some it allows us to live in another world for a while. The following images are filled with objects of little monetary value to the outside world, but each serves as a priceless sentimental landmark in the emotional landscape of my memories.
Collecting is a means by which one relieves a basic sense of in-completion brought on by unfulfilled childhood needs, it functions as a form of wish fulfillment, which eases deep-rooted uncertainties and existential dread Control of the object collected brings relief of the child’s anxiety and frustration that comes with feeling helpless and being alone. The act of hunting, gathering, collecting. sorting and organizing is a universally human trait which allows us to exert some control, make sense of the world, and provide evidence of our own existence.
By layering these objects together, I hope to illustrate the whimsical yet chaotic and fragile nature of how I define myself and remember my past in an attempt to create a new form of self portraiture.
Claire Rosen is an award winning fine art photographer creating transportive imagery where universal themes of dreams, fairy tales and mythology visually symbolize the core of the human condition. Elaborate constructions reminiscent of classical paintings, evoke the aesthetics and ideals of Pre-Raphaelite, Romantic and Gothic periods. Her surreal images often explore concepts of nostalgia, childhood, whimsy, memory, femininity and depictions of the self, frequently referencing the paradoxical Victorian Era with it’s fascination of the natural world and ideals of beauty.
In both 2012 & 2013, Claire was included on the Forbes 30 Brightest under 30 list for Art & Design. Her work has also received awards from Communication Arts Photography Annual, International Photography Awards, Graphis Photo Annual, Prix de la Photographie, Sony World Awards, Artists Wanted: Exposure, The Art Project: W Magazine.
She has been featured in Communication Arts Insights Profile and Fresh, Creative Quarterly Journal, Direct Art, Faded Blurred, Feature Shoot, FotoTv, Friday Magazine, Hi Fructose Magazine, Montclair Magazine, The Montclair Times, Neo Collective, PDN’s Emerging Photographer, Photocine News, Refinery 29’s “Trade Secrets” & 8 Photographers on the Rise, The Rumpus, and The World Photography Organization.
Claire is represented by Asymmetrick Arts, CSM, Galerie Gris, Ken Fulk, Michael Aiduss and Verve Gallery; She has been exhibited from New York to Los Angeles and London to Bangkok and her work can be found in a number of public and private collections. In 2013, Claire had her first solo museum show at the the Savannah Museum of Art in Georgia. Her fine art work has been included in a number of juried group shows including at the Center for Maine Contemporary Art (CMCA), Consensus, MOPLA, Photoville Boston and Brooklyn Fence, and PhotoPlace Gallery.
The vivid storytelling throughout Claire’s work has also enabled her to create unique creative campaigns for a number of commercial brands from fashion labels to luxury hotels and book publishers to restaurants.
In addition, Claire has taught workshops and lectured on 5 continents through B&H, Foundry Workshops, Gulf Photo Plus, Hallmark Institute, ICP, New Jersey Visual Arts Center, NORDphotography, Savannah Collage of Art and Design, School of Visual Arts, Unique University and the Yard School at MAM. Claire is sponsored as one of Dynalite’s VIP shooters and is a liveBooks Ambassador.
Claire graduated from the Savannah College of Art and Design in 2006 with a BFA in photography. She received a liberal arts degree from Bard College at Simon’s Rock in 2003.