Inspired by the photo blog Humans of New York, this collection of six portraits looks to emulate the style and form of street style photography, cropped a little tighter to evoke a deeper connection between the subject and the viewer.
A tone of gritty realism underpins the aesthetic, combining vacant and staring expressions that evoke different emotions from frame to frame. There is a cultural connection between the girls, communicated via key styling elements in cosmetic gold jewellery that is wrapped around their bare skin. By peeling back their gang like identity six unique and enigmatic characters are revealed, each with their own story to tell.
The artist wants the viewer to see beyond the tough façade and sometimes arrogant poise to see their raw persona, who whilst rich in street turf, has empty pockets and responsibilities that belie her years.
The make up centres on the eyes, as they are the focus of the story, the hook to draw the viewer in. Lips are nude and the skin natural, to alabaster in some cases, to authenticate the stark realism associated with narrative.
The hair is what really defines each individual, the opportunity to have a unique sense of being, and ownership of their identity. From the experimental burnt orange and crimson colour blocking to the more subtle jade and burnt chestnut highlights, a spectrum of personalities are played out via the colour palette. Similarly, the cutting and styling techniques that range from tight cornrow braids to an almost rigid crop create a strong social snapshot.
HAIR: Maria Unali
MAKEUP: Isabella Schimid
STYLING: Leesa Smith
PHOTOGRAPHER: Matthew Webb