Wednesday, November 11, 2009

A few questions with Tierney Gearon

Posted By on Wed, Nov 11, 2009 at 2:43 PM

Frame 18, from the Explosure Series, 2008
  • Frame 18, from the Explosure Series, 2008

Tierney Gearon mostly takes photos of her family. The former Atlantan had a career as a model, followed by a career as a fashion photographer, but she settled down, had kids, and got "thoroughly bored with the whole fashion industry." She did what a lot of mothers do - started taking photos of her children and relatives. Unlike most mothers, though, she had the experience of creating commercial work for Times Square billboards and the pages of French Vogue. Her first solo show in 2001, i am a camera, drew quite a controversy surrounding pictures of her children. The Mother Project followed by documenting the intense relationship between Gearon and her mother. Her new work photographs family vacations and domestic life through double exposures. Gearon's photographs exude a surreal quality that autobiographical work can rarely maintain.

Her latest show, Explosure, runs at Jackson Fine Art until Jan. 16, 2010.

Her answers and a few images from the show after the jump


Can you describe your process for these photos?

I do the old fashioned process of double exposing the image inside the camera. There is no Photoshop or retouching or post work on these images. I love this process because it leaves room for surprises. Unlike digital where you see what you get right away. Not only do I not see what I get right away but the surprise of combining 2 different locations is either a complete mess or amazing. I have to think completely out of the box and just take huge risk which usually ends up turning out the best. The first time I shoot the roll of film I do a whole roll of the same location so I know what location is on each roll but not what is on each frame! The second time I shoot the roll of film I shoot a lot of different options.

Frame 22, from the Explosure Series, 2007
  • Frame 22, from the Explosure Series, 2007

How did beginning your career on the other side of the camera as a model affect your approach as a photographer? Do you think that you approach your subjects or camera differently because of it?

The great thing about modeling was there was a lot of standing around for hours in the same location. It is amazing to just sit and observe the day go by. Modeling also helped me to understand light.

Frame 63, from the Explosure Series, 2008
  • Frame 63, from the Explosure Series, 2008

Who or what do you look to for inspiration?

I use my life experiences for inspiration. I love meeting people and discovering things, real live people, meeting other artists. My kids are an incredible inspiration.

Frame 13, from the Explosure Series, 2008
  • Frame 13, from the Explosure Series, 2008

Where do you live now?

I live in Los Angeles after living 20 years in London. I moved 5 years ago to LA. I love it here. Paideia school changed my life. It taught me people are individuals and it was the first place that understood I do better in life living out side of the box.

Explosure by Tierney Gearon. Through Jan. 16. Free. Tues.-Sat., 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Jackson Fine Art, 3115 E. Shadowlawn Ave. 404-233-3739.

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