I dig this image. Part of it is definitely due to the latent pyro in me. Plus it captures all the best of what Kowalsky—no, not Kowalski—brings to the table as a violist-by-day/photographer-by-night.
Yet, I feel my response has to address the indebtedness of Kowalsky’s work to Brooke Shaden—whose work I loathe.
What makes Kowalsky’s work attractive—besides the violist bit (I am a love fool for musicians, dontcha know?)—is the manner whereby she dodges Shaden’s derivative interpretations with sincere photographic inquiry. Her images tell the story of how she sees herself as well as how she wishes she was seen.
In other words, photo manipulation is not an end in and of itself to Kowalsky—and make no mistake this and much of her work are composites (to which I normally object but if I’ll give Jeff Wall a pass…); instead, the implausibility of her contrived images recall in-between-ness of the moment after you glimpse something you are certain is impossible and the moment before you looking again to discover it was just the play of the light sparking your eyes’ imagination.