A Dreamlike State
Selected works by Mandy Rosen
Asymmetric Magazine: Tell us about your photo art.
Mandy Rosen: My photo art consists of photographs that were created by a method called compositing; where several photos are combined into one single photo during the post-production process. It takes anywhere from one hour to 40 hours to create one single picture. The majority of photos in my photo art portfolio are self-portraits, created by placing my camera on a tripod and clicking a wireless remote to take the picture. I like to tell people, “I don’t take photos, I make photos!” It's a new style of photography that’s very creative, surreal and artistic. It feels especially new to me since I was an art history major that studied the classic painters through the timeline of human history. Never before has another medium besides painting been able to execute as much of an in-depth and artistic workflow that Photoshop can when it comes to artistic portraiture and landscapes.
AM: What is your biggest inspiration?
MR: Brooke Shaden is another composite photo artist, but her work is different than mine in that she uses dark colors and dark tones in her work. Her work makes me wonderfully uncomfortable, while also contemplating the meaning behind life and death. My two other biggest inspirations in photography are Rosie Hardy and Joel Robison, who create amazing self-portraits that scorch you with their intensity. It is true that other photographers inspire me the most over anything else in life, with the exception perhaps of love. As long as there is love in my life, there will always be inspiration.
"As long as there is love in my life, there will always be inspiration."
AM: How does your photo art compare to your landscape photography (view here)?
MR: My landscape photography differs from my photo art in that there is minimal Photoshop involved. Landscape can be more challenging for me because I want to snap a picture of something that not everybody sees. Everyone has a camera these days, even if it’s just their cell phone, and I just don’t want my pictures to look like everyone else’s.
AM: What is your favorite place to photograph in California?
MR: My favorite place to photograph has become my apartment. I don’t shoot too often in my apartment, but when a composite works and looks natural after creating it in my apartment that is very exciting for me. The “Space Dress” pictures and the picture of me sleeping on the book were created in my apartment against the light of the window. I don’t really like shooting at the beach but am on the hunt for creeks and woods in southern California.
AM: What themes do you typically pursue in your work?
MR: Loneliness, isolation, desolation, the pursuit of happiness, and childhood nostalgia. I generally use very bright and happy colors to either convey or contrast these themes. I don’t mind the loneliness, as I need loneliness to create.
AM: What music is currently inspiring you?
MR: My biggest inspiration in music in KiD CuDi. I can relate emotionally and artistically to many of the themes in his work. His music is revolutionary and changing the way people view hip-hop music. I believe my work is revolutionary in that it is emerging in contemporary times and it is a reflection of the transition of artistic portraiture. The KiD CuDi Pandora station is constantly on my computer during my full-time job (which is editing photos for two wedding companies). Within that station are many inspiring artists that help keep me through my day such as Lupe Fiasco, Wiz Khalifa, DJ Snake, and Common. Other artists who currently inspire me are Justin Bieber, Pitbull, Grouplove, and Sia. I listen to everything except country.
AM: What can we expect to see from you next?
MR: Many collaborations with my online influences. Matheus Riberio is an up and coming photo artist who agreed to do a collaboration with me. Also, I have an exciting photo trip coming up to Sedona, Arizona where I will let me imagination run wild and create as many self-portraits and beautiful landscapes as I possibly can.
Mandy Rosen is a Southern California-based photographer best known for her photo illustrations and landscape photography. You can find more of her work at mandyrosenphotography.com.