This work depicts a particular type of beauty absent from the retro vintage period (1940 – 1980). She was not the model chosen to adorn the covers of America’s popular culture magazines. These magazines touted carefree messages such as “Be Beautiful Now, The New Beauty, What Your Look Reveals About You,” and asked vacuous questions like, “Do You Like Your Nose?, and What’s in Season?” Yet, Her denial and erasure did not deter Her. Instead, it strengthened and empowered Her. This work illustrates the fact that Her social issues were too big to be contained on magazine covers. While many were distracted, matching pocketbook colors to hand gloves, She was busy fighting for basic human rights, inspiring taglines much too challenging and authentic to sell in fashion magazines. See Her emerge from the shadows in all Her glory—front and center—as I focus on Her many different Crowns of Empowerment.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
As photography became my means of self-expression, I acknowledged what had once been a hobby as a passion, and began taking classes at Atlanta Art Institute and completed my curriculum at Gwinnett Technical College. I specialized in portraits, which I later combined with a love for jazz, shooting CD covers, concerts, and posters for musicians. A notable photo shoot was Freddy Cole’s 70th birthday celebration, which was published in Atlanta Magazine. While in Atlanta, other opportunities arose such as becoming staff photographer for GN Magazine and shooting major projects such as The Lost Boys of Sudan, a project and photo exhibit sponsored by Jane Fonda, Art Aids Africa, and Atlanta Celebrates Photography, where I served on the Board of Directors.
My photographs were also a featured aspect of the Jackie Robinson Foundation, based out of New York, which provides scholarships to inner city youth. I also exhibited in the National Black Arts Festival in Atlanta. I was selected to photograph the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival for archival purposes in May 2017. Currently, I am a medical photographer for Soderstrom Skin Institute and have work featured in the SkinNews Magazine, the Soderstrom Skin Institute website, and on billboards throughout the central Illinois region. I am a member of the Illinois Art League, Central Illinois Art Organization( CIAO), Contemporary Art Center of Peoria, and the Peoria Camera Club. I sit on the Board of Directors at the Contemporary Art Center of Peoria, which is a frequently visited, highly active community arts center. My photography studio is also located there.
© Natalie Jackson