Posted by Laura Golden, GD Art Editor for 3.1
Gandy Dancer is proud to feature the work of Denise Seidler in 3.1. We will publish four of Denise’s photographs in our next issue. Denise is a student at SUNY Cortland, where she studies Art History and History. Here she answers some questions posed by Art Editor Laura Golden, and talks a bit about her inspirations, influences and future projects.
Laura Golden: Can you tell us how you got interested in art? What is your experience in the field? And what is your preferred medium and why?
Denise Seidler: For as long as I can remember I’ve had an interest in art but had minimal formal understanding of it until I took an art history class in high school. That was about five years ago and, since then, I’ve really taken to photography and the limitless possibilities that the medium allows. I do a lot of painting too, but find that photography allows me to convey the emotion of a piece more clearly. In addition to my creative work, I’ve made a small business of doing PR photos for theater productions, headshots, events and group shots for organizations like fraternities and sororities.
LG: What artists have influenced your work?
DS: I’m mostly inspired by written works over visual art. The author that I find most influential is Don DeLillo. His honest prose has made me look at the world in new ways and has offered inspiration in terms of the topics I want to explore in my art. Lewis Carroll’s writing, too, has inspired me. As far as visual arts go, I’m drawn to the work of the surrealists which shows in some of my most recent work.
LG: Can you talk about the stories behind your photos? What techniques or effects do you employ?
DS: In “Demons,” the subject is restricted to a darkened corner while hands grope towards her from beneath a sheet. (The photo, to me, reveals the defiance or submission towards the way we feel about ourselves, the demons and the negativity that are always trying to pull us back into their grasp no matter how hard we try to overcome them or stand up to them.) This, being a self-portrait, is my most personal piece to date. Since this photo, however, I’ve used this same idea and technique several times in different environments and scenarios.
For example, “Lend Me a Hand” is a different take on the same idea. Instead of a visual representation of interacting with the demons within, the subject (again, myself) is reaching out to the unknown for help or guidance. This photo goes together with “Help.”
“Within Reach” is less intense but also just as powerful for me. It’s a commentary on the idea of being present in the face of death. We distract ourselves from the idea of mortality with material things yet death is all around us.
“Self Portrait” is a visual representation of having my head in the clouds. Alice in Wonderland portrays a similar idea. In the beginning of the book, Alice is laying in a bed of flowers dreaming of another world. This photo was inspired by that scene.
LG: What projects are you currently working on? And what are your plans for the future, in regards to your artwork?
DS: Most recently, I’ve been working on a project in conjunction with the chemistry department at my college to photograph chemical reactions for a permanent print installation in the building. I’m also continuing with a series of self-portraits and looking into graduate schools for photography. Ultimately, I would love to work in the film industry one day as a cinematographer or visual historian.
To see more of these beautiful and evocative images, check out 3.1, launching online soon and come to our launch party: December 12 at noon in the Hunt Room, MacVittie College Union, SUNY Geneseo.