591 Exhibition - Michelle Marie Roy

On Self-Portraits..

The basis for my work has nothing to do with capturing a moment or exploring the world through documentation. I create purely fictive scenarios that are an expression of an inner world or concept. Often my photographs express my experience of gender, but there are also references to art history, and especially to the medium of painting.

I frequently work in series, and each series tends to have its own aesthetic. But throughout my years of image-making, I have often used myself as a model. Simplicity was one reason for this. I knew what I wanted to achieve with the piece and it was easier to experiment and make last minute changes to the idea. Experimentation is central to my working-process. Eventually I did turn to models, but even so, I continued to use myself in my work as a means for self-exploration.

With regard to technique, all of my images are straight photographs. In other words, no Photoshop was used. This was mainly out of necessity at first. I was late in learning the program, and now, given the choice, it is the way I prefer to work. The effects in the photographs were created by several means, such as mixing daylight and artificial light, photographing through various materials, using make-up and costumes, and reflections.

I moved to Sweden from Atlanta, Georgia 7 years ago. I wanted to study art in Europe, and I had some friends here that I met at the University of Georgia. I fell in love with Stockholm while visiting friends one summer, and decided to stay and continue my studies in art history and curating. Finally I ended up doing a project at The Royal Academy of Art in Stockholm.

For the exhibition at 591, I decided to take images from several series of photographs. The themes are somewhat varied, but the common element is myself. For more information about each series, one can visit my website. Basically I chose the self-portrait because it re-occurs often in my work, and I find that my self-portraits are some of my most imaginative images.
© Text and photos Michelle Marie Roy

Michelle takes me on a visual joy ride. Seeing her self-portraits makes me think of Dorian Gray who was told that the only important things in life are beauty and the fulfilment of the senses. I see her sitting in front of a mirror wearing a red dress, it feels like a picture from everyday life. The bathing nymph called "Be My Sugar Daddy" makes me smile, there is a sharp edge of humour present. Her photos are challenging and imaginative. They make you think twice. I am in love with them.
- Mr Urbano

Michelle Marie Roy
Born: Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.A., 1973
Latest Exhibition: Operatingplace gallery at PUB Hötorget 3rd floor, in Stockholm through April 20th 2009
Inspiration (Photographers): Jemima Stehli, Charlotte Gyllenhammar, Tom Hunter, Man Ray, Rineke Dijkstra, Marilyn Minter, Hiroshi Sugimoto to name a few
Inspiration (other): The Old Masters
Film, digital or both: Both
Coming, planned: Feature article for April 2009 in Cora, culture magazine, available at Moderna Museet and Kulturhuset www.cora.se
Quote: "Every great work of art is a celebration, an act of insubordination against the betrayals, horrors, and infidelities of life" - Azar Nafisi
A favorite photograph: At the moment Jemima Stehlis Strip series

Homepage: www.michellemarieroy.com


Matteo said…
Hi Michelle,

I love the last picture. Looks like a sweet devil or a bad angel ;-) My view anyway

Nice to see some pieces of your work.

Mikael said…
Strong and expressive images, from some of the first photos i get a marilyn monroe feeling