the little chapel of esoteric cosmetology
The 'Little Chapel' project was born of searching for meaning. People travel to India to inquire of hermits on mountaintops. I sought out those who'd been more forced to come to terms with the things in life for which they're most responsible, those who've understood harsh consequences, and those who just turned the wrong cards over at the wrong moment, to mirror my emotional space during those years: 2004-2008.
I was looking for my reflection in a 'Hang In There' poster, the one with the kitten dangling from a tree. These models are that kitten.
In the streets most stripped of Vegas' image culture, we played as the tourists try: we pretend, we play dress-up, we do one anothers' make up and hair, then we photograph these versions of ourselves. Whereas the tourist experience is mediated by social contracts, obligation and fear, our delusions of grandeur are boundless.
We were looking for and at the other, while they looked back. Unlikely social events were created through the guise of the camera's desire. Within weeks, the word had gotten out and women came into the bar where I worked and asked to be part of the project, to be made over and photographed.
In doing the work, I realized we all desire exactly the same things: to be seen, to be cherished, and to be loved because of and not in spite of our incredible flaws.