Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Selfie Centered

All images courtesy of Giselle Noelle Morgan.

About a week ago, I came across a personal narrative on the Huffington Post written by photographer and artist, Giselle Morgan. In her piece, What I Learned When I Turned The Camera On Myself, Morgan analyzed how her most recent photo series, Selfie Centered, impacted her style and perception of her own photography and self. Fascinated by her beautiful and original images, I reached out to Giselle to ask her a few questions about her art-centered photography project.

+ Give us some background; are you a big art history fan? Who is your favorite artist?

Art history is something that vexes me, since there are so few women artists and even less documented in art history textbooks. My photo series “Selfie Centered” was predominantly charged from my research of female artists in western art history. Olivia Bee is one of my favorite artists and she was my chief inspiration when I began taking photos. I’m also inspired by Jen Mann, Marina Abramović, and the Chavez Twins.

+ Why did you choose to reproduce the paintings you selected for the series?

I decided that I wanted to embody the emotions of the women in the paintings and live in their skin. I had immersed myself in research for particular paintings of redheads by female artists because my goal was to elevate women artists.

+ What challenges did you face while creating the series?

I dealt with the physical pain of moving from the pose of the painting to setting the self-timer for over the course of many hours while on set. There was also an emotional release while shooting since it was such a draining and frustrating process. I think humans love comparing pictures and identifying when an aspect is slightly askew, and this series tested my ability to create an image of substance in conjunction with a mirror image of the paintings.

+ Did you learn anything about yourself through this series?

That I will not wait to become someone’s muse, and to use myself as a source of inspiration.

+ What has the response to this series been like in comparison to other photo series you have done in the past?

Since this collection received a tremendous amount of attention compared to some of my other work, the feedback varied. It’s surreal to see people debating online regarding something I created; there is this argument about how my piece isn’t a true selfie, so the whole series is a sham or something. But for every disgruntled person on the internet, there are those sweet people who personally reach out. I’ve received some heartwarming messages about how much the piece has touched specific individuals. Before this collection gained momentum, I had never received much backlash because I was pitching my ideas to an audience that had similar interests and values. Experiencing these polar opposite responses has been a good reminder that it’s pivotal to hear other’s opinions, but ultimately listening to 
yourself is vital.

You can reach out to Giselle, or check out the rest of the series, here:

+ Instagram: @gisellenoelle

Much love,


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