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A Spectacle of Visuals
Kristina Knipe is a New Orleans based photographer with an eclectic style. Her aesthetic is a collage of perspectives and cultures. Still life, vintage, and punk are just a few of the layers she uses to bring to life her artistic visions. It’s a potpourri of contrasting elements that enhances the visual story and provides endless meaning for the viewer. It’s still life photography unlike anything you have ever seen.
Currently, my aesthetic looks like a Dutch still-life spilled onto your grandmother’s floral print couch in a punk house. I look for and create spectacles of visual and material excess that overwhelm my viewer in a beauty that’s twinged with a hint of decay.
Knipe creates the atmosphere of a lost and found bureau. Each element of her pictures has a story and reveals a layer of meaning. Perhaps the most interesting part is that the artist doesn’t take sides and treats people and objects with the same care and interest.
Her aesthetic is always changing as new stories catch her attention and need to be revealed. Knipe likes to experiment with new techniques and new perspectives. Film photography adds its own layer of richness, and large prints add another one. From technology to conceptualization and presentation, Knipe’s works gather the best of each stage of production.
Through layering and perspective, I collapse the space between bodies and objects to emphasize that they are of equal importance in the narrative of my work. The objects speak to a multiplicity of metaphorical meaning, and also the context they exist within: the artist/punk/queer community.
The photographer’s work starts with a vision but is perfected on location. In Knipe’s world, everything is a variable from light to subjects and shooting conditions. This on-stage improvisation is rewarding — her works are surprising, creative, and honest.
It is important to me that I remain aware of my surroundings and open to possibilities while shooting. There is nothing worse than realizing a missed opportunity. I am a bit haunted by those, especially when the stakes are higher.
It’s impossible not to notice the care that Knipe has for each of her photos. One of her favourite pieces is a series of photos dedicated to an injured friend. The pain of her friend, the healing process, and the entire experience are documented artistically. “I think of photographs inherently as a memorial to time passed. We created this image with the intention of memorializing her trauma and the healing process. Aesthetically, the spill of objects references both a sacred site and spaces of celebration: Saint Roch Cemetery and Mardi Gras. Referencing these visual phenomena of healing and debauchery, I built the scene around records of Soleil’s injury.”
While the pandemic created unique challenges for her, Kristina Knipe finds new ways of expressing her infinite creativity. It may be photographing people she quarantined with and close relatives, or teaching projects. There are always ways to build connections and reach people’s hearts.
Article written by Monica Radulescu