Things That Scare Me
Joe’s Boxers, Photo by Kimberly Nichols
Ever since I was a little girl I have been intrigued by things that scare me. I used to keep a scrapbook of current newspaper clippings when I was around ten. All the newspaper clippings were of current events that had to do with violence, terror, or confusing psychological pathos that I totally didn’t understand but knew raised a level of anxiety in my premature head. When I sat at a baseball game and watched Reggie Jackson get into a fight with a member of an opposing team, I felt a fear in my belly and clipped out the image of the “punch” moment the next day to glue into my scrapbook. I also obsessed over the McDonalds massacre in the eighties. I guess having the newspaper clippings contained in my own private notebook gave me some semblance of false subliminal control by which I could trick myself into believing I was safe, that these were now just images in my book, and I controlled them. Ever since that time I have been fascinated with things unexplainable that leave me feeling a little uneasy. Nothing to do with morbidity or the macabre, but more of a light shining from my eyes onto a situation totally incomprehensible to my own logical mind, the mere fact of facing these images, these feelings, and these events, gave me a sense of freedom and distance from them. When I evolved as an artist and started to find my own influences in life and art, Cindy Sherman was one of my iconic artistic mentors. Not only because of the obvious psychological portraiture of women in her work that has become a main impetus in mine, but also the relativity I found in her specific series titled Porn Series, wherein she placed body parts and warped prosthetic limbs into surreal and bizarre still lifes that she then photographed: again capturing her own sense of awe, mystery and anxiety surrounding certain feelings and images into a cathartic symmetry and frame by creating it within her own controlled artwork. Mastery of emotions through the explorations of that which befuddles, confounds and ultimately scares us.
I have started my own collection of photographic images that are found in places that can only be described as “stumbled upon”. Images that, immediately upon viewing, and because of their seeming juxtaposition within their environment that can only be described as completely out of context and visually jarring. Images that instantly cause the upheaval of my stomach into a lump that rises to my throat begging questions such as “What is that doing there?”, “Who is the person that put that there?”, “What was that person doing?” and then an imperceptible shiver down my spine that lets me know I don’t really want to know. A new, mature, visual documentary of the unexplained and slightly queasy.