I've been "slammed" a few times by other artists for not having an "Artist's Statement".

 

However, as far as I am concerned

- who I am , where I was born, educated - or not,

where I live, what are my personal likes and dislikes, what do I look like,

how old am I, etc., etc., is of no importance.

 

The only thing that matters is what YOU

- the viewer of my images FEEL and THINK when you look at my work.

 

The "Artist Statement" is a relatively new "invention",

mainly by and for the benefit of galleries, museums

and those who make a living by selling or criticizing the works of artists.

 

I see no reason to influence your thinking or feelings about my work

by priming you with psychological statements as to why my subconcious influence me

- or not - to shoot and create my images the way I do.

 

However, I've been told that some of my images give the viewer the "wrong" impression

- and I am constantly asked "why" and "where" my images come from

- especially those that involve religion, violence against and control of women.

 

So - a few things about myself.

 

I was born in Sweden. That's where my basic values about women's role in society,

their "worth" and "capacity" were formed

- as well as my conception about nudity and sexuality.

 

I grew up "making" music - from the age of six when my mother realized I was "gifted" with a good ear,

I was fortunate to be able to always have that to turn to.

My childhood and teens were not easy but the music was always there

- it kept me - mostly - out of trouble.

When the other kids were out throwing rocks at the streetlights, I was rehearsing or performing.

Photography was always "second fiddle" to that but something that was interesting and mysterious.

 

At the age of twentyone I was living a good, comfortable, mostly carefree life and as happens in most young mens life,

Love struck - hard - not for the first time - but this time with a sledge hammer.

Eight months later that love was taken away on a Sunday while I was doing nudes of a couple of friends.

Upon the return back home to our apartment I discovered my love, Neeta, dead in our bed.

 

That day the music and the photography died.

I eventually left Sweden and started a different life.

 

And you forget - but you never forget

- the memories and what happened are always with you and it changes your life in almost every way you can imagine.

 

I have never again played any of the instruments I had played for so many years and I didn't do photography for many years
- snaps, yes, but nothing "serious".
I still had cameras - loved the "feel" of them
- such precise and beautiful instruments - but my mind said "No".

 

Then a friend asked my to do some images of his daughter as she aspired to become a model
- I took five rolls of Tri-X (what else) and when looking at the contact sheets
I realized photography was what I should have done all my life.

 

So, here I am, starting a new life, trying to share what my mind "sees",
my values and appreciation of the beauty that is always around us if we just take the time to look and "see"

- the beauty of women

- these mysterious - at least to us men - baffling, extraordinary, lovely and remarkable creatures - capable, strong
- much stronger mentally than us - creatures who thru centuries always have been

- and still are

- victims.

Controlled and held back and used for pleasure by men in the name of religion

- and to cover up the inadequacies and fears of men,

- they are still controlled, mutilated, sold, used as commodities.

 

Obscene beyond words

- especially when it's done to young girls in the name of religion

- something that happens every day.

And the thousands - millions - of women in violent and abusive relationships...

 

Although I try to show the beauty that exist in every woman,

some of my images are commentaries on this unfair and obscene condition under which so many women - and children - live.

 

Even in Sweden,

which has the most equality for women of any country,

they still do not have full equality.

 

But, as I AM an artist - finally - perhaps the very beautful and eloquent statement

by Tracy below can offer some hints of why I am different from most of you

- and why women are much further along in evolution than men....=*^)

Christer

White Ribbon Campaign 

 

The statement below is reprinted here with the permission of

Tracy Lee
http://www.tracyleephoto.com/

 

Tracy says so very eloquently and beautifully what I have myself not been able to formulate in words.

Except for a few particulars she could just as well be me or I her....

 

 

I am an artist. I am afflicted.

 

Somewhere along my strands of DNA lies a

particular combination of chemicals that make this so:

I can no sooner change it (as if I would ever want to)

than I could change my height or eye color or

the shape of my face or the sound of my voice.

It is hardwired in my genes.

It is who I am, it is who I will always be.

 

I celebrate the human form in my art. My chosen

tool is a camera, my laboratory is my studio and

darkroom. I experiment with light and shadows,

form and figure, grain and texture. For the past

ten years I have been focusing my lens on exposing

the human body - particularly the female body

(specifically my female body) as my subject.

 

I am an artist and I am happy in the dark.

 

Because of this I think a little differently than

most others. I look at the world through the eyes

of an artist. It's not better, it's not worse:

it's just different. I am different. I am an

artist and I am not the norm

 

I forget this, and it gets me into trouble.

 

Personally I strive to be open-minded, I seek out

what is shocking and against the grain. I observe,

I immerse myself, I learn and I grow. What was

shocking now becomes accepted and understood.

 

Nudity is an accepted part of my life. I look at a

nude and I see beauty, I see the fluid motion, I

see shapes and lines and forms. Looking at the

work of others who share my love of the subject I

see the emotion the artist wanted to convey, I

experience the piece through the eyes of the

photographer. There is beauty in the body. Every

line, every curve. Faces sometimes don't matter:

my photographs aren't about me (not always,

anyway) but about a woman. Any woman. Look at her:

what do you see? What do you feel?

 

I am proud of my work and I don't hide it away.

This is what I do, this is who I am.

 

Not everyone feels the same as I do, not everyone

agrees with my art, not everyone approves of my

subject matter. A large percentage of the

population seems to have forgotten that underneath

all those layers they are just as naked as I am.

 

Every preacher who has ever spouted out against

the evils of the flesh is naked up there on that

pulpit. Every member of Congress, the Supreme

Court and the House of Representative are all

naked under their suits, dresses and robes.

Senator Exon is naked. And though I can't be

certain of this, Jesse Helms has probably been

naked too.

 

We are flesh and blood, bones and cartilage, sinew

and muscle. We live, we breathe, we sweat and cry,

we hope and dream. As unique as each individual

personality might be it all boils down to just how

similar we all are on the basic level.

 

When Congress tries to pass laws censoring free

speech I am confident in the fact that such a law

can never be accepted because I know it's absurd.

And so everyone must know it's absurd, right? But

as person after person stands up and rails against

the arts and the internet and free speech and

pornography and the poisoning of the minds of the

children I become very scared

 

I'm not doing anything wrong, why are you

persecuting me?

 

I firmly believe that an individual should just

turn off the TV if something offends. There is a

little knob right there on that radio dial and you

can very well make that offensive music go away.

You disagree with an art exhibition? Fine. Don't

support it, send your check somewhere else. You

think that book is pornographic? I have a very

easy answer: don't buy it.

 

But don't ban it, don't propose new legislation to

rid the airwaves of it altogether, to prosecute

publishers who produce works you think are

indecent, to jail artists who create

"pornography". I am a responsible adult and I

voluntarily took on the job of raising my child

when I gave birth and it angers and infuriates me

that I am being second guessed by some old guy in

a suit in DC who knows nothing about me at all. If

something bothers you then stay away from it but

have the common decency to believe that I am an

intelligent being who can think for myself and who

is very capable of making her own decisions, thank

you very much.

 

Where will this book reside in your home? Will you

keep it out on the coffee table or will you hide

it away in a drawer? Will you put it up high on

the shelves away from prying eyes or will you read

it openly in the middle of your family room. If

your child saw you reading it would you quickly

close the book and hide the cover or would you

continue on? I am not saying that any of those

things are bad, I just want you to think about why

you would do it.

 

What message is society sending to the children

when violence is glorified in movies and TV but

sex is something forbidden and dirty?

 

Sex is a wonderful, beautiful thing and to deny

this to yourself and to anyone is a waste. To

embrace the beauty of sex is enlightening. Live,

love, and enjoy. Human beings are created to have

sex - it is as natural a part of life as living

and breathing. Open your eyes, try something new,

do something different. You're dead for a very

long time so don't throw away what time you have.

 

There is nothing wrong with being naked. And there

is nothing really wrong with being disturbed or

offended by it. But there is everything wrong with

judging me and censoring my thoughts and ideas

because they do not conform to your own.

 

I am an artist. I want to make you think. If only

for a moment I want you to look at the world

through my eyes. I want you to feel what I feel

when I create it. And I want you see the beauty of

the body.

 

I will keep trying.

 

- tracy lee

copyrighted 1996, 1997 

---------------------------------------------

Tracy Lee

http://www.tracyleephoto.com/.

 

 


[edit] Bibliography


The Mammoth Book of Illustrated Erotica /edited by Maxim Jakubowski & Marilyn Jaye Lewis (New York : Carroll & Graf, 2002) 512 pages; ISBN 0786709219

The Mammoth Book of Illustrated Erotica

The Art Fix, August 2005, Issue 74.


[edit] External links


Christerart website


Categories: Erotic artists | Swedish photographers | Photographers | Fashion photographers | Erotica