Photog Love: Nia Mora

It is no surprise that Nia Mora, the grandaughter of Francisco and Elizabeth Calett Mora , is talented. Artistry runs freely and generously through the whole of her family tree. Her father and mother are accomplished musicians and her sisters include Sweetie front woman Ife and model/actress/singer and identical twin Naima,former winner of America’s Next Top Model.  In this series of photographs Nia states that her focus is “….to explore the inner workings of the human imagination, the subconcious, and dreaming states of mind……I had an overwhelming sense in my own life that reality is not what it seems to be and everybody percieves it differently.” Given the fact that she is an identical twin, its not farreaching to assume that her perception of reality is uncommon, her situation is rare. Only one third of twins born in the United States are monozygotic, identical. Having an identical twin could be likened in some ways to an out of body experience. Twins have the unique of observing their physical likeness in ways that most people will never, unless they are having an out of body experience by which they can survey themselves as an impartial observer. With that being said Mora’s perception of reality is tinged with a certain disorientation, a subtle hallmark in the images presented in this set. It is her unique sense of perception and her manipulation of the perception of  her audience that is the most striking thing about her work. Each image jarrs the senses with the conflict between the imagination of the artist and limits of the viewer adding  a layer of tense excitement to the viewing experience. The narrative becomes loose and pliable like the dreaming state of mind Nia refers to in her mission statement. Each frame registers as provocative and unsettling. There is something not quite not right about her imagery yet there is something within it that compels the viewer to look deeper and make peace with the fact that they could get lost.  Double images are an expected component in most of her imagery and there is a strong sense of visual and emotional juxtaposition that lends to the sense of disorientation that confronts the viewer. For example there is an eroticism in the bathtub image that sharply contrasts with the fact that the image is of sisters, or is a digital manipulation of one woman. The image of the woman in blue with her head sticking out of what appears to be a plastic sheet is both morbid and calming as blue is the color of  tranquility and is oddly enough the color of flesh that is derived of oxygen. She looks at once like a drowning victim or some etherel creature poking her head out of a portal to another dimension.  Just like in our dreams, Mora has presented us with images that blur the edges that seperate fantasy from reality and invites her viewer to define those boundaries for themselves.


3 Comments so far
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Oh god. These are amazing.

Comment by Jaqui

aren’t they though? Nia is very nice with the cam

Comment by taeh

[…] the art of photography. I’ve done posts on Katie West, Mel D. Cole, Peter Dean Rickards and Nia Mora to name a few.  I was struck by this particular photo immediately. It radiates a  sensualism, […]

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