In her series “Dare alla Luce,” Amy Friend manipulates and then re-photographs existing images to explore “the relationship between what is visible and non-visible.” She was first inspired to manipulate vintage photographs, both personal and found images. “I ‘re-use’ the light by allowing it to shine through the holes in the images,” Friend explains. The title of her series means “to bring to the light” in Italian. “I aim to comment on the fragile quality of the photographic object, but also on the equal fragility of our lives, our history.”
Friend, who was recently honored in The Curator, PDN‘s juried awards for fine-art photography, is primarily a fine-art photographer, but she was recently assigned by California Sunday Magazine to use her technique to create illustrations for a cover story titled “Death, Redesigned.” Photography Director Jacqueline Bates had seen Friend’s work and thought it was a good fit for the story’s complex subject.
“I was immediately excited about the project, particularly because the article was not all doom and gloom,” Friend says. “It presented a considered view with multiple facets relating to death and how we deal with end-of-life negotiations.” The article included interviews with a designer who wants to change our views on death, and a hospice director’s thoughts on advancements in our understanding of end-of-life issues. Friend and Bates discussed some images that would be appropriate for the story, and Friend applied her technique to photos the magazine licensed from stock agencies or commissioned, including images by Jason Madara (who shot a commissioned portrait of BJ Miller, executive director of Zen Hospice Project in San Francisco), Jim Cooper and John Von Pamer. “I look at this editorial as a collaborative project with all of the artists and designers playing a significant part,” says Friend, who adds that she enjoys fulfilling the needs of editorial clients. “The input you are offered when working with others is indispensable, especially given that we are often working solo with little feedback.”
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