The American artist mixes photography and painting in her works that transport us to an alternative world, both hypnotic and surreal, colorful and textured.
Shae Detar revives the power of hand-painted photography. In the history of the medium, one of the earliest methods of dealing with color was to paint over it, thus returning a semblance of real-life dynamism.
The American artist, who has worked in theater and modeling, began her artistic practice at the age of thirty, setting up her darkroom and experimenting with 19th-century oil painting techniques. Today, she exalts the process, the better to explore her own aesthetic.
Her surrealist compositions immerse naked models in natural and wild landscapes, such as the Californian desert, the lunar landscapes of Iceland, and the cliffs of the British coast. Her influence is informed by classical painters and iconic photographers, as the prints she manipulates in the studio are mounted on larger-scale cardboard. She then applies paint, charcoal, or epoxy resin before sealing the work with UV-protective varnish. While Shae Ditar does not use canvas, but watercolor paper with a textured look, for her it is all about color and feeling.
In a digital world now in constant evolution, this virtuoso, based on the East Coast of the United States, distinguishes herself by these handcrafted images that “connect to the humanity of life.” Shae Detar has released this first book, Another World, and a corresponding series, which deal with emotions and escape in all its forms.
Fascinating shots that transport us to this utopian alternate reality, ruled by Mother Earth and the mystical woman, free from the dictates of society. This twelve-year odyssey not only culminates in wonder and fulfillment, but also closes a chapter in her own life. In her visual narratives, she is careful to keep her creations as authentic as possible, staying true to her desires and vision. “When I’m working on new images, I try to have a free spirit, like children when they draw, because they don’t judge themselves, they are in the moment,” she explains. Between strength and fragility, Shae Detar blurs the boundaries between photography, painting, and contemporary art, celebrating the carnal beauty of women in all their dimensional purity.
Another World of Shae Detar
Skeleton Key Press, March 2023