resurgent angel.

She believed she could fly, so she did.
I have always been mezmorized by the olympic gymnasts. I would watch the grace and the strength that these athletes displayed as they flung themselves across matts and beams. The contrast of their often dainty frames to their impressive tone and the strength of their bodies; it was something that I always found to be profoundly beautiful. One day, I watched a young woman cover her hands in chalk to ensure her grip, clap away the excess, and walk through with amazing concentration, and determination. She breathed. You could see her thoughts dancing around her head until she looked up from the floor, threw her arms up, and smiled. The image was forever stuck in my mind.

Silver. graphis new talen annual 2018.

jesse small [model] 

.experimental portrait


This was one of my first “real” undergraduate projects. Everything up until this point had been about instilling the basics. Now was the time to apply.

We were partnered up for our portraits with a classmate, so there was no picking and choosing a model. It also limited some of our time and availability, as we were modeling for eachother. My partner and I faced the additional difficulty of having little overlap in our schedules outside of class. We both worked late nights, and were both taking more than the suggested credit load.
1 am.  That was the most reasonable time that we had an overlap. There weren’t many places open at that hour, so we stuck to our studio space. It also meant that it was impossible to find an extra set of hands at that hour, so we managed as much as we could.

1:30 am. I have the black bedsheet tacked to the wall. The backdrops were locked in a closet at that hour. I set up the $70 lights I bought for the occation. They don’t work well, but I make due. I tape the wings to my classmate’s back. I put some black makeup on his face and fingertips. I rip open a bag of flour

2:00 am. We are both covered in flour, as we try to throw it in sync. The tape is no longer sticking to my classmate’s back. We improvise with some string across one shoulder. Most of the flour is on the floor, so we result to scooping it back up for the remainder of the shoot.

3:00 am. We finish, I have the shot. My classmate goes home for a well deserved shower.

3:10 am. I regret not covering the floor with parchment. I also regret forgetting to bring a vaccum.

all work © Taylor Shipton unless otherwise noted.