Wallflower, an ongoing and evolving series of male portraits, is an exploration into the other. With a strong interest in psychology, Elkins has turned specifically to the psychology of the opposite sex, finding the mannerisms in which significant role models in her personal life reveal endlessly fascinating. It is through the series that Elkins investigates and confronts some of the cultural grounds underlying gender, opting to focus on the beauty, sensitivity and vulnerabilities found in a sex that has long been held to masculine expectations and stereotypes.
Her sittings are done one-on-one, with a confined amount of space, her subject and the use of floral wallpaper. The dynamic creates an intense confrontation between the two, where the use of wallpaper serves to contrast the sitter’s masculinity against something clearly more feminine, forcing both worlds to mix for the lens.
While majority of Elkins’ portraits are done with the use of floral backdrops, there are instances where she has created similar environments with naturally occurring floral backdrops, playing off of the femininity of the natural world. Such works were done in New Orleans, post-Katrina, with men that were affected by the severity of a hurricane that destroyed vast areas of the city, in Woodstock, NY where she photographed swimming holes and in Santa Monica where she photographed her father for the first time upon release from his recent incarceration.
The portraits in Wallflower remain a personal and psychological delving into the other, in which Elkins’ opts to focus on a sex far less gazed upon.
Amy Elkins was born in 1979 in Los Angeles, CA. She received a BFA in Photography from the School of Visual Arts in May of 2007.
Her work has been published in PDN, American Photo, EyeMazing, Dear Dave the Visual Arts Journal and New York Times Magazine.
Elkins photographs have been shown in group exhibitions across the world, including the PIP International Photo Festival in Pingyao, China, Gallery Gagopa in Masan, South Korea, Gallery Elsa in Busan, South Korea, 3rd Ward Gallery in Brooklyn, Jen Bekman Gallery in SoHo, PEER Gallery and the Visual Arts Gallery in New York.
Elkins currently works and resides in New York City.
You should pay a visit to Amy´s site to see more of her work. She has a great blog as well. It´s a collective project called wanderlustagraphy. Amy says on her blog: "My brain's been swirling lately while looking at ideas/words/collectives like Chicagraphers, Minneagraphers, Omahagraphers, Alaskagraphers. The idea of creative collectives is wonderful." You will find a bunch of great photographers who has participated in her project (not unlike the F Blog) I am truly glad to see your work here Amy. invited by ulf fågelhammar