Monday, April 30, 2012

"Head First": New Series, New Business.

Harrowing Hue White Door Fallout Green Decay Saturated Hallway Worm Hole Corridor

Make my dreams a reality: Buy a print!
Head First is more than just a mindset; it is also the name of which my photography bares. You may now view my current photographic portfolio here.

Glow from Outside
Artist Statement

As an only daughter, heavily medicated since the age of six, I saw, experienced, but never felt much of anything. The cold comfort of New Jersey offered little condolence in the place of siblings I never had. Itinerary consumed my being: taking up to seven different uppers and downers each morning upon waking for the various conditions I was told I possessed. My nature, as I knew it to be for most of my life, was completely devoid of all meaning.

A meek reflection of my former self, I was cast into the world deprived of the very things that made me a person. Mechanisms that some would describe as elation and joy, were absent, almost always followed with an uncomfortable tingling sensation. In conjunction with this, I had been written off as the resident ‘problem’ child; disconnected from those who surrounded me. My biggest confidants, as it seemed, were the same therapists and psychiatrists that wanted no more than to maintain a client for the years to come in accordance with their own personal incomes.

I was a burden to my elders, the quintessential ‘weird kid’ of school, and relied on technology, namely the internet, for much of my social interaction. Offering a form of escape, video games became a coping medium, a way for me to create an alternate universe for myself, in hopes to avoid the physical realities that I could not bear with. It was at this point that I fell into oblivion, and became enamored with color. The radiant hues which presented themselves to me in game communicated that there was optimism for my real life situation. This saturation grew more apparent each time I logged off my computer - seen by all but often unappreciated by the anthropological eye.

Taking control, photography served as a vessel of expression. In recollection of my past, a memorial to the asylums, doctor’s offices, psychiatric wards and therapy sessions that unintentionally littered my upbringing, Head First is my color project. This reference is deliberate; not only as a way to make my account of this experience visual and visceral, but to celebrate the clarity of my newfound freedom of thought. Absent of medication for the first time in fifteen years, I have begun to feel and understand what it truly means to be alive.

Though these mental institutions had been abandoned for decades, something strange happened when I photographed them for my series. I found warmth, security, in the deserted and harrowing hallways. Amongst the decay there was a familiarity present, and as it grew dark I felt little opposition to leave. By choosing long exposures, exaggerated colors were created, reflecting the interior life of my soul, existent then and now echoed in my pictures.

Despite times of absolute bleakness there was a light at the end of the tunnel; a constant reminder of destiny. I found beauty amongst the chaos and confusion of growing up alone; color seen at the end of a forbidding maze of an institutional portal, just as it had beckoned to me. Commotion, a constant premature focus of what was in my head, and not my heart; this is head first. 

Ali Baker

The Crossover

Self Portrait

Bed of Wheels


elle - ubisoft said...

what an incredible talent you have, ali - both for photography and writing. i'm deeply moved by both in this post. had i not read what you wrote first i think i would have seen the photos so differently, it changed everything to see them through your amazing eyes.

Dre said...

Having been given the opportunity to see them in person is an experience I won't soon forget. The artwork itself hit me on an emotional level. Behind all the dark aspects and doom and gloom there lies hidden beauty, hope and a guiding ray of light. Ali has been a friend of mine for awhile now and I'm not afraid to say that she has been a ray of hope and guiding light for me and a friend I will cherish until my days end.

Kelpie said...

You have moved me. Not only with the pictures, but with the writing as well. I feel like I have taken a glimpse into your soul and I can feel my eyes watering. These are a reflection of who you are, and you are beautiful.

Robert said...

This is really fantastic. I follow you on Twitter (made the "George Clooney" comment) and I have been watching your excitement build throughout the last week or two and it is so awesome to see all of that come to a climax with this. The photographs you have provided here are really great. I prefer to paint pictures with words, and as such I am no kind of art expert. But I know what is visually appealing to me and these are great. You don't just "got game." You've got a lot of talent.

I hope we both make it in the gaming industry so that I can come up to you at a PAX or E3 one day and shake your hand.

Anonymous said...

Your vision is inspiring. Your search for your life's meaning is, without a doubt, meaningful. Everyone has to find themselves, express themselves and accept themselves at one point in their life or another. Your journey though life, no matter how different it seems from everyone else, still is the same for everyone. Be kind to everyone.

I see that you strive to have transparency not only in your photography but also in your life. What you seek, you will most defiantly find if you decide to keep going on your current direction.

Above all, life is not without its pitfalls, its trials, its heartbreaks, or its consequences. Those long dark hallways, that lonely dim light, the derelict buildings and the bright hues agains that bleak backdrop of how you feel your life was, will be a good reference point to where you will go in the future.

Good luck!

Jayden said...

This is just astonishing, so glad i read this. I hope your dreams become more then reality, but a way of life.

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