My art is an attempt at human connection. I lack the ability to openly + accurately express myself by any other means. I hope that by encountering my efforts, someone somewhere can relate to my message, feel that connection, and realize they're not alone.
I decided to begin my new series, Lessons in Loving, with a concept that explores the deep inner-workings of the self. Had I not put forth the effort to understand who/what I truly am, this series undoubtedly would not exist. I believe that knowing yourself is an act of love that opens pathways towards greater connection with others, self-purpose, and a Higher Power.
I want to focus on the present,
but my hands shake as I contemplate your presence—
or lack thereof.
And now I'm scared of any interaction
that doesn't involve the infliction to which I'm attracted.
Unaware of my body's existence,
I distance my emotions further from my conscience
until they return in a fond sense
of panic attacks
And now my hands are back to shaking uncontrollably.
All I want is control of me.
Poem by Taylor Rico. October 2013.
35mm film multiple exposure. Entire image captured in a Pentax K1000. In order of exposures: fire pit (Texas); Copper Mountain Resort landscape (Colorado); Model Greg Guttin (California).
I don't do it to please you
I don't care if you understand
I do what I want,
when I want.
Simply because I can.
Original photos by Saad of Dropout Photography (2017).
Before I had the pleasure of calling Mary my friend, I knew her as the most talented artist in my grade—if not my entire middle school. Mary's intricate paintings have always sparked within me a sense of wonder and possibility. Her style and subjects possess a whimsicality that could only come from a fantastical mind (and if you know Mary, you know she's one of a kind).
Admiring Mary's creations through the years, I was infatuated with the idea of creating art myself, but I lacked faith in my ability to make anything worthwhile. Mary was a large part in the development of my creative confidence as I began shooting on 35mm film. She's always encouraged my ideas with enthusiasm and I've captured some of my favorite, most meaningful photos with her.
I now know the honor of being subject to the very hand that's had me awestruck for some time. Mary Wendel painted me in oil on wood with gold leaf detail (original photo by David Yamamoto).
Mary, without you I wouldn't know the importance of encouraging others to create, as well as believe in my own ability to make something valuable to myself. For this and your friendship, I'm forever grateful.
I've had the privilege of working closely with fellow film photographer, Mitchell Allison, in three distinct ways. The photos below are the result of our creative collaboration from September to October 2017.
First, I took Mitch's portrait on 35mm film, which I also exposed to flowers and neon light:
Second, Mitch captured me on 35mm film in Chinatown, Los Angeles:
Third, we both shot on the same roll of 35mm film in our own respective cameras. Mitch shot the first round of exposures, I shot the second. Neither of us knew exactly what the other was capturing, though we did designate the subject matter beforehand. The outcome was a surprising delight:
I'm grateful for the opportunity to create with talented artists such as Mitch. If you're interested in collaborating with me, please send me a message through the contact form linked below.
Mitch, I can't thank you enough for your time, patience, and perspective. You've helped me expand my understanding of film photography and all its wonderful possibilities.
This collage was created using 35mm film photos, metallic star stickers, an X-Acto knife, and rubber cement. Photos were captured in Moab, Utah (namely Arches National Park and Canyonlands National Park).
The thing I enjoy most about subjecting myself to another photographer's lens, besides the obvious notion of vanity, is human perception. The fact that I, one constant being, can be perceived in countless ways is intoxicating. Because human perception involves the nervous system, I am interpreted uniquely to each human experience. Meaning, I am literally a different person to everyone I encounter. I believe this phenomenon unconsciously manifests itself through portrait photography. I find great delight in meeting my varying selves through the lens of my captors.
The strongest woman I know
is also the weakest.
Sipping liquid courage,
she does the best she can.
I can no longer blame her
for clutching on
to a can.
If her pain were mine,
I might just do the same
to pass the time.
But no matter how much time passes,
things remain unchanged.
The weakest woman I know
is also the strongest.
I love her regardless,
because that's my mama cat
just being Jayne.
Poem by Taylor Rico. September 2017.
I hope all your fears come true
and life rips you apart.
When the world crashes down on you,
I hope you notice your heartbeat
and continue to beat
as you stand alone in the dark.
I hope you realize how strong you are
and have been from the very start.
Notice the animal inside you take hold,
as you flail your limbs
forces out of your control.
Your resistance to pain is in vain.
This was always supposed to happen.