Solarized Portraiture: Fluid, Flutter, and Flux, by Kristin Fouquet
Kristin Fouquet photographs and writes from lovely New Orleans. Her photography has been widely published in both online journals and print magazines, and as chapbook, book, and CD covers. Her specialties are conceptual photography, street photography, and the occasional traditional portrait. When not behind the camera, Kristin writes short literary fiction. She is the author of five books. You are invited to visit her humble virtual abode, Le Salon.
Interview with Kristin Fouquet
1. How long have you been making art?
My father gave me my first camera when I was fourteen in 1985. I used it sparingly and was more interested in painting for the next three years. Due to frustration, I traded painting for writing to describe the things I could see in my mind but couldn’t convey on canvas. In the mid-90s, I returned to photography and set up a darkroom. I received my first photo credit in a publication in 1998, but it wasn’t until a decade later that I began to devote myself to it more seriously and have ever since.
2. Is art your full-time job? If not, what is?
It is. For the last twenty years, I’ve been fortunate enough to spend most of my days taking photographs and/or writing.
3. What inspired this work?
Solarization is a darkroom technique first used for aesthetic purposes by Man Ray and Lee Miller in Paris in the late 1920s. I experimented with the technique in my chemical darkroom in the 1990s. My Solarized Portraiture series from 2020, realized in my studio and digital darkroom, is an homage to those surrealist photographers.
4. What writers or artists inspire you and your work?
In photography, Henri Cartier-Bresson’s street photography and portraits have always inspired me. The Storyville portraits by E.J. Bellocq are provocative because they suggest the intimacy and trust established between photographer and subject. I adore the portraits and street photography by Diane Arbus and Vivian Maier. For conceptual, surrealist photography, I admire Man Ray and Lee Miller. I’m moved by the moody, fine art portraiture of Francesca Woodman. As for contemporaries, I enjoy the ParkeHarrisons’ fine art photography, Joel-Peter Wilkin’s macabre images, and the work of Louviere + Vanessa.
5. Where can we find your recent or future work?
My website, Le Salon, has samples of my past work and a list of publication credits with links. On June 1st, four photographs from my Phobic Portraiture series were published in Rogue Agent. At the end of this month, four other photographs from the Solarized Portraiture series will be published in Kalopsia Lit. Another of my photographs from the Phobic Portraiture series will be published later this summer in Sein und Werden’s “Le Retour.” In September, four of my photographs from the Curiosities of Chez Fouquet will be published in Typehouse Literary Magazine. Three more photographs from my Phobic Portraiture series will be published in Déraciné this December.
6. What would you advise those interested in seriously pursuing art?
My advice would be to experiment as much as possible to find what you love. I think it’s essential for new artists to find their unique style. Also, perseverance is key because there is no substitute for time.