Fotografia – Brooke Shaden – di Emma Coccioli per Milano Arte Expo 2015

Brooke Shaden

Brooke Shaden

Fotografia – Brooke Shaden – di Emma Coccioli per Milano Arte Expo. Brooke Shaden è nata nel 1987 a Lancaster (USA) dove ha frequentato la Temple University, specializzandosi in lingua inglese e cinema. Ora vive in Ariziona con suo marito e tre gatti. Le sue fotografie raccontano fiabe oscure, ritraggono figure immaginarie – specialmente femminili – in grado di camminare sulle acque e sulle pareti, ed anche di volare. Tante storie fantastiche che stuzzicano e provocano.


When I discovered your fairy-tale and surrealistic world I was deeply striken, especially considered your youth. Your work When I grew up reminded me of a terrible frame from the movie Titus (Julie Taymor, 1999). Which directors and photographers have been inspiring your work?

I have always been enamored with the movie Pan’s Labyrinth directed by Guillermo Del Toro, especially the cinematography by Guillermo Navarro in that film. I love the film Atonement and was inspired by that film visually as well. I love Pre-Raphaelite painters, all the classics, and love to study how they paint light.

  1. And what about literature? What kind of stories do you love to read?

    I am in love with science fiction, and my favorite books are the Dune series by Frank Herbert. I also love Neil Gaiman.

    The images of girls in inverted positions or next to holes in the ground and in the wall made me think of the adventures of Alice in Wonderland, but also of the movies Narnia, The Neverending Story and Donnie Darko where one can find this concept of another different or parellel world without. Also the movie Being John Malkovich makes use of this theme though insisting especially on the aspect of an inverted sexuality. Particularly, in the work Battle at Cliffside Hill the girl is trapped within the tree roots …

    I love all of those references! I am quite obsessed with alternate realities, things we cannot see immediately, and the unknown.

    Nature is thus fused with human feminine beauty, but it is a hostile and insidious nature, dangerous and misterious. Terrible, sublime. An untamed and wild nature, almost unkown in Prehistoric times. What is your relation with nature? What landscapes fascinate you, where do you feel protected and what disquiets you?

    I feel at home when I am in nature – the forest especially. I find the quiet of trees and rustle of leaves to be the most meditative. I grew up among nature with rolling pastoral farmland, so I have always been comforted by that.

  1. Brooke Shaden

    Brooke Shaden

    The Thorns that flowers grow photographs and The Gran Finale remind me of the painting of Bosch (Triptych of Eartly Delights): human control over nature and the fusion with nature can be interpreted as a sort of Nietzschean overcoming of man both for better or for worse. How did the thoughts come to your mind?

    The relationship between nature and mankind is fascinating to me because both struggle for power, but one does so peacefully, or at least unknowingly. I like to play with that power between the two, and at different times, a different one wins.

    The umbrella. What does it symbolize? Mary Poppins used to come down from the sky with her umbrella …

    Umbrellas are traditionally used for protection, and I love the idea of being free and not needing anything to protect us from nature. So I like to use umbrellas in strange ways, turning them upside down, to show that relationship. 

    People in the photographs are able to walk on waters, on walls, are able to fly, levitate and are able to make very special movements. What is your relationship with magic? Do you believe in paranormal activities or are yours just some “poetic licences” that are not being supported by any true belief?

    I can’t say I have any real relationship with the paranormal, but I love to believe in my own imagination. There all things are possible.

    The waters are torbid and limbic … What do they mean to you?

    Water is a symbol of movement and power, and that in itself can provide endless inspiration.

    With regard to the doubling of the busts and of the bodies as like in Imagination Island is there a soul leaving the body or is it about an alias, an alter ego of the original figure?

    I meant that photo to be about several things – one person having many identities, as well as something more metaphysical, like a soul leaving the body.


Brooke Shaden

Brooke Shaden

Intervista di Emma CoccioliBrooke Shaden 

per Milano Arte Expo

Leggi anche le altre interviste di Emma Coccioli per il magazine.

MAE Milano Arte Expo 2015 – – ringrazia Emma Coccioli per l’intervista alla fotografa americana Brooke Shaden  e per la selezione delle fotografie.

Milano Arte Expo

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