Ophelia, a photo series created by Tina Maas, showcases portraits of beautiful women who seem to be lit from within.
Although the portraits themselves are stunning, there is another layer of process at work. The surface of the images appears to be cracked and crumbing. The evidence of decay creates a stark contrast with the subjects serene expressions, making their youth and beauty appear even more fragile.
The sense of decay present in Maas’ work is entirely authentic. The Ophelia series was created with liquid light applied to wax plates. Throughout the process the emulsion would sometimes peel away from the plate, or crack. In the first issue of Diffusion Maas explained, “Most of the original wax pieces continued disintegrated”. The final photographs of the Ophelia series aren’t the wax plates themselves, but photographs of the wax plates suspended in a tank of water lit with underwater lights.
Decay, portraiture, and the layering of processes seem to be themes Maas works with frequently. If you’re interested in discovering more of her work, I’d recommend visiting the Personal Work portion of her website and looking at her series Skinflowers, Prisons, and Cyborgs.
If you are in the Sante Fe, NM area you can also see her work at Verve Gallery in the Diffusion Retrospective exhibit that will be on display January 31, 2014 – April 26, 2014, opening reception March 7th.
I am also pleased to announce One Twelve Publishing is releasing the second edition of Diffusion Volume 1. If you’d like to read Diffusion’s entire interview with Maas, as well as profiles on Pamela Petro, Sika Stanton, and Jeffery Baker the new edition of Diffusion Volume 1 is available here.