Roxana Azar

Roxana Azar is a photographer and digital artist living in Philadelphia, PA. She is a recent graduate, receiving a BFA in photography from Tyler School of Art. Roxana runs the photo blog Grapevine/Soramimi and was recently published in Mossless Magazine and Of the Afternoon. roxana_azar_untitled_o

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My artist statement for this body of work is a dialogue I had with my grandmother, out of context. While I was working on this series, she and I were talking, and she told me a (strangely true) story that really brought it home for me, like it was the missing piece:

“I used to have trouble flying, too. I barely left the house, or went in cars. One day, my neighbor told me to come over with my gold jewelry. She put them in a bowl and made me get cold water from the well. When I came back, she covered my jewelry with the water, poured a glass for me, and said, ‘There are nutrients in this gold. Now that your stomach is laced with it, you won’t be afraid anymore.’
After that, I went everywhere.”

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Through A Gilded Stomach (2012) is a series of photographs that deal with the personal and the mythical and places them in a contemporary context. The objects and images that have been photographed represent an aspect of the women in my family with whom I connect deeply, or traditional ideals from a cultural history that clashes with my own. The series is an ambiguous chronicle in disarray, with each image acting as an important piece of the puzzle.

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The artist statement, the snippet of dialogue, leaves the viewer with a feeling of ambiguity so it’s up to them as outsiders to piece the connections together. I recently installed a few images from the series for my BFA thesis show and also put together a booklet with many more images from the series. I am so used to just posting images on the internet, that using those outlets related to the presentation of the work (the wall and the book) was a challenge that ended up being crucial to how the series is experienced.

Gallery View

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You can view more of Roxana’s work on her website