Malinda Wasell – Slowly, my soul awakes (2015)
Out of every 24 hourrs, I spend two–give or take–perusing the work of various photographers and image makers.
Every day, I find work I like. Work I love is harder to come by–perhaps a couple times a month. Then–in an especially good year–a half dozen image makers completely beguile me.
Wasell’s self-portraits are rarer beast. It’s not so much that her images resonate with any great profundity. It’s more their one masterful aesthetic flourish–the knack of employing absolutely fucking impossible light to devastating effect.
I’ve experienced a comparable reaction before. Four and a half years ago, in fact, as a result of of first stumbling upon Lina Scheynius’ work.
On the one hand I grant that it’s not exactly fair to connect a nineteen year-old with a handful of promising images to one of the quintessential badass Internet famous photographers. But look at the way both manage to coax cooperation from insane lighting situations. So the comparison may not be fair but it’s damn accurate.
These two images in particular are wonderful. They’d almost certainly benefit from a more thorough engagement with questions regarding the boundaries separating selfies from self-portraiture as well as concerns over representation vs. identity. Yet, independent of more intensive conceptual framing, there’s both a raw potential and precociousness that is all but absent in photographers twice her age.
Lastly, I would be woefully remiss in my duties were I not to mention Wasell’s Tumblr curation. Yeah, super beyond on point.