The Photographic Journal

If I were a Painter

Essay 140 • Mar 13th 2017

If I were a painter these are the images I would paint. The links that artists seem to find from one medium to the next are always interesting to me. Each photo acts as an extension of the visual battles I have with reality. They represent my revised and demanding need to expand my visual and mental capacity. Color is evocative. Seeing what my little brother and sisters would paint always pushed my mind to see playfully. It would always renew my sense of possibility. I want to mirror that time in ways because, as a kid, the ego isn’t there, and I just find that so invigorating.

I love to break my subjects into pieces and have them become a part of the composition rather than be the main focus. Through depression, for a long time, what I saw around me was very under-stimulating…very muddy, very dull. These images stem from the opportunities I’ve had to get to know myself more. I think my work shows how great things can happen from bad times. This is all a way to control what I see and it’s just therapeutic. My work is expressing a world that I just really wish I could live in.

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Arielle Bobb-Willis
Growing up in New York City, my Dad would always take me to galleries and all of the museums. That’s where I first learned a lot about Rothko, Picasso, Basquiat, and many other artists. I moved to South Carolina from New York in 2008. It was an extremely difficult transition for me, which led to a five-year depression. But at that time, I was randomly placed in a digital imaging class and I started to learn about f-stop, shutter speed, and aperture. Photography then became a place of peace and I’ve never stopped. I went to college at Loyola University New Orleans, where I studied photography. Overcoming my depression in South Carolina, learning about abstract art in NYC and seeing the brilliance of color in architecture in New Orleans all shaped who I am as an artist today.
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