Jane Szabo

BIO

Jane Szabo received an MFA from Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, CA. Her award winning fine art photography has been has been exhibited across the United States and internationally, and has been included in exhibitions at the Oceanside Museum of Art, the Griffin Museum of Photography, Colorado Center for Photographic Arts, PhotoSpiva, San Diego Art Institute, Orange County Center for Contemporary Art, and Gallery 825 in Los Angeles. Her series Sense of Self was featured in a solo show at the Los Angeles Center for Digital Art in 2014.

ARTIST STATEMENT

I am deeply interested in the human condition and my work explores how we live, how we relate to each other, and how we feel about our identity. My current body of work merges fabrications with conceptual photography in a series in a series of self-portraits, playfully exploring issues of identity in an ambitious juxtaposition of fashion, sculpture, installation and photography. Though creating photographic works, my background as a painter and installation artist, as well as a career that included creating custom props and scenery, strongly influence my artistic creations.

RECONSTRUCTING SELF

The act of self-portraiture is akin to gazing into a mirror, except the gaze goes deeper; looking in to one’s self, not just at one’s reflection. In my project, "Reconstructing Self," I creatively explore self-portraiture, pushing the boundaries of the tradition, finding new ways to express self-identity. "Reconstructing Self" merges fabrications with conceptual photography in this series of self-portraits, playfully examining issues of identity in an ambitious juxtaposition of fashion, sculpture, installation and photography.

Photographs of dresses, made from familiar objects such as wrapping paper, coffee filters and road maps, suggest a persona, and become a stand in for my self. The personas represented in these forms illustrate who I am, who I am not, and who I wish to be. Drawing from my own background, I create still lifes, pairing objects with the dresses, creating a story, and inviting the viewer to contemplate the connections, and create their own mythology.

The balance between the self and the world outside can be a precarious one. We struggle to find a way to individualize ourselves, yet often merely blend in among the masses. Presented as a typology, the dresses and accompanying objects encourage the viewer to look closely to analyze the differences and similarities, and perhaps to fit themselves in to one or more of these dresses or “selves.” The empty forms suggest alienation or loneliness, while the materials and objects simultaneously strive for individuality and uniqueness. Though these works are self-portraits, with personal stories and memories embedded through the use of materials, the lack of human form makes the dresses universal. With references to paper doll dresses and childhood playtime, one can imagine these personas could be put on and removed at will as the mood, personality and stories change.