Self portraiture is the most revealing art form there is, for obvious reasons. The best self portraits offer an intimate, revealing glimpse at how the artist perceives themselves while still allowing the artist to maintain a bit of mystery – not too quick to give it all away at first glance. Josephine Cardin’s self portrait photography checks those boxes. She combines her body, fashion, dance and nature to create haunting, ethereal compositions.
It is immediately obvious that Cardin is a former ballerina after taking even a single look at a single photograph. She moves her body in a fluid, lyrical way – the kind of gracefulness one gets only from years spent dancing in a studio.
Some photographs are reminiscent of the Dutch masters, with an unknown light source illuminating Cardin’s face while the rest of the composition is swathed in a murky darkness. Others are romantic musings on femininity, with Carin swept up in bright yellow dresses or red silks. Still others are modern, abstracted photographs, reliant on digital manipulation to achieve the final product.
No matter her method, Cardin reveals in her photographs her own melancholy, joy, confusion, strengths and weaknesses in a subtly powerful and breathtaking way.