Dorothy Shoes interview
Blue Mitchell: Where did you grow up? Can you tell me what it was like for you growing up?
Dorothy Shoes: I grow up in a small town in the middle of France. My mother is a writer, and my father was the boss of a high-quality restaurant. I say “was” because he died a few years ago.
I had a very peaceful childhood, with a lot of animals around, and very early I wanted to learn drama and to play on theater stages. When did you start taking photographs? I started three years ago, without thinking it would become a professional way to express myself. I was doing it besides drama art. And I never thought, I would exhibit my work around the world as I do now. Such a wonderful surprise! I recently took in an exhibit of Roger Ballen’s here in Portland, Oregon and I noticed some similarities in your work. Does his work inspire you, if so, in what ways? Wow! What you say honors me so much. I’ve discovered Roger Ballen’s work in New York, in a French magazine I bought for my trip in the US. And his work changed completely my point of view about photography. His photography art taught me what photography art could be.
When I got back in France, I really knew what I wanted to do with my camera. I create an imagined world where humans thoughts are discernible.
I create an imagined world where humans thoughts are discernible.
Who or what else inspires your artwork?
I really like ParkeHarrisson’s work for the obvious poetry. I also like Gilbert Garcin and Rodney Smith.
You mentioned that you were involved with theater, in what aspect?
Yes, besides photography art I’m a drama actress for many years. I’ve written and staged a theatre play four years ago. But actually, I focus myself on photography. Theatre gave me a lot of material for my current work. It gave me the wonderful pleasure to stage pictures. I still work as an actress for cable TV, I dub a lot of American TV shows. But my visceral desires are now, on my photography road.
Many of your images have text and drawing in them, can you elaborate on the purpose or intent of combining these elements with the human figure in your work?
I guess it’s because I wanted to open a door toward surrealism. To enlarge the perspectives of a picture. To make the invisible visible. A way to draw the unconscious. I don’t like restrictions, so I move and draw the lines as I’d like them to be, to tell the story I want to tell. I create an imagined world where humans thoughts are discernible.
Any future photographic plans or projects on the horizon?
Actually, my work is exhibited all over Ukraine, and several exhibitions in France are planned in 2008-2009, I’ll also show my pictures in New-York city for a collective exhibition of French artists in April 2009. I also have the project to make a report in Texas death row.