Red examines the idea of feeling like someone is watching you in your own home, especially as a woman. Part of my inspiration for this series came from the TV show The Marvelous Mrs Maisel. The show reveals the truth behind glamorous, ‘50s era elite couples. Although it is set in the late ‘50s, the critiques made in this show remain relevant. As someone who lives half in that world, and half in the downtown world Mrs Maisel enters, the show inspired me. The way Mrs Maisel went to sleep with her husband wearing false eyelashes, makeup, and lipstick, but got out of bed after he had gone to sleep to do her night routine struck me in particular. She woke up before him to get ready and got back in bed after putting makeup on, so that he never saw her not made up.

In Red, I create this character who is on display for others like a museum object. I dressed her in a formal outfit: tight leather pants that one can’t even walk around in, Louboutins, and an almost-see-through shirt. Her outfit reinforces the idea that even within her own home, she has to look and act pristine. As far as color, I chose a cool grey and an overcast feeling because it creates an austere environment. There are undertones of pink radiating from her, representing some sort of life and emotion within her.

In two of the photos, she is on pedestals almost like a sculpture in a museum. In a room surrounded by windows, these photos highlight how she’s in the spotlight, but not in a good way. In the last photo she is sitting on a metal pedestal used for displaying sculptural artwork, suggesting that she herself is like a molded sculpture made for others’ viewing.

I attempted to create a painting-like portrait of my model through the photos where she’s on a chair, like portraits done of royalty. They’re very posed, mimicking the classic emotionless, cold, beautiful expressions that old portraiture highlights.

By Isha Chirimar

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