A Strong Relationship — With Yourself

That’s what Texas photographer Kelli Connell depicts in a compelling series of photographs, some of which can be found in an interesting exhibit at the Nathan Larramendy Gallery in Ojai. As I mention in the story for the Ventura County Reporter:

One of the most striking displays in Larramendy’s small but
appealing gallery is a trio of large digital photographs by Kelli
Connell. Each of the photographs shows the same two women; in one, they
appear to be a mother and daughter, and are snuggled together, looking
directly at the camera.
In another photograph, they are together in a bathroom, looking as
relaxed in each other’s company as lovers, and one of the two women is
in the tub. In a third, titled “Kitchen Tension,” they are trading
edgy, over-the-shoulder glances.

But look closer at these photographs, and it slowly becomes apparent
that something is wrong — in fact, these two women are one and the
same, digitally manipulated to share the same space.

To Larramendy, the photographs document a relationship that an individual has with himself (or in this case, with herself).

“It’s about that person who is always two steps behind you,” he said.

But who is that person two steps behind us? Our conscience? Our
memory of a favorite lover? Our anxiety? The question has no single
answer, but that is part of the reason these photographs lodge so
firmly in the memory. Using one model, a digital camera and Photoshop, Connell has found a way to make vivid our inner rush of thoughts — no small feat.

Here’s the one where I first realized that something was going on. Guess it took the nudity to make me slow down and really look at the photograph. Okay, so I’m a little shallow. So shoot me.


Published by Kit Stolz

I'm a freelance reporter and writer based in Ventura County.

One thought on “A Strong Relationship — With Yourself

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