Poignant Pics no. 2 // K.K. DePaul
Welcome to our second installment of Poignant Pics where I’ve asked photo curators, educators, collectors and makers to share a brief essay on a photo that has significantly changed the way they think or look at the world. Poignant Pics no. 2 is written by Diffusion alum and all around talented photo-crafter K.K. DePaul.
I am a firm believer that anything that is worthwhile starts with a seduction.
Ten years ago, as I was deciding whether or not to change careers and embrace a life in photography, I was a guest at a reception for prospective MFA candidates. It was held at the spectacular home of one of the board members and there were amazing photographs on every wall. I turned a corner, and I was rooted to the spot. It was my first encounter with the work of Luis González Palma. And I felt the thunderbolt of love at first sight. I was, quite frankly, smitten.
Until that time, my knowledge and experience was with Street Photography...chasing and capturing a moment. The taking of a photograph.
This work was about crafting an image. Collecting props. Casting actors on a stage to suggest an unspoken story. He uses collage, words, symbols, and oil paint to create spectacularly beautiful images that seduce me with their mysterious gaze.
It’s like Poetry...I can’t really explain why I am drawn in...but I feel it. I keep coming back... like a magnet pulling me...and I continue wanting to know more.
My encounter with this work changed the course of my direction in photography. I gave myself permission to break rules I had imposed upon myself...and the world opened before my eyes.
K.K. DePaul is an explorer of secrets, combining and recombining bits and pieces of memory to make sense of her family stories.
"I have always been fascinated by multiple interpretations, double exposures, and the ambiguities that arise depending on which character is telling the story. My process begins with a collection of elements...images...writing. As I move the elements around, a visual narrative begins to take shape, signaling a new understanding of parallel stories. My use of collage indicates a story told in two voices, representing identities that have been torn apart, stripped, reflected upon, and ultimately reconstructed."