Artist Statment

 

Mass media culture gives us glamorous images of love that we believe we must reproduce in order to realize our dream of love. Love Triangle stages and subverts this cycle of reproduction, revealing both our need and our failure to reach perfection in an image.

 

This series began when I came across a vintage postcard from the 1920s and became fascinated with it. I felt a distance from the time and ideals shown in this strange scene of children posing as an adult couple. Yet, as one who has photographed weddings, I also recognized a familiar yearning for highly artificial—and, to me, equally alienating—images to embody love. Crossing times and images, I wondered how my friends, some in relationships, some not, would react if I asked them to become what I saw on this and similar postcards.

 

I chose each couple carefully, seeking a certain innocent, childlike appearance.
Some couples I matched with postcard images based on visual resemblance.
I matched others because I knew their relationships would fit an image’s dynamic.
From among many attempts, I chose the one photograph where each couple seemed to truly believe they had attained the perfect postcard moment and its idealized vision of love. However, despite their best efforts, they fail noticeably.
A woman smiles blissfully yet grips a bouquet too tightly, causing white knuckles. Hands that should be holding each other are wooden, not quite touching. For me, the saddest picture is the one where everything is in place, perfection almost reached, flowers held together, yet the people are still not connected. These photographs document emptiness in the pursuit of the beautiful surface.

 

By inviting each couple into my studio, giving them their clothes, their makeup, their pose, indeed their entire image, I was both defining their relationship and questioning it. As the photographer,
I personified the culture that demands conformity with images in exchange for the fulfillment of desire. In this role, unseen yet present throughout the image and the moment,
I was the unacknowledged third party that is the completing side of the love triangle.