Self-Portrait Series Straddles the Line Between Fantasy and Reality
Rachel Baran who no doubt is a talented photographer, likes to tag herself as having a small purse but big dreams. Obviously she does a lot of that dreaming while wide awake, behind her camera. The young 20-year-old from Ohio says that “One of my many very fancy hobbies is taking photographs of mainly myself but I promise I’m not a total narcissist.”
The young lady makes the disclaimer, as she uses herself as the subject in most of her work. The rub lies with some tweaks on Photoshop, creating absorbingly odd details that transform the images, becoming pictures that straddle fantasy and reality. In the growing series we see strangely inspired scenes like fire springing forth from her outstretched arms as she gazes into an empty field; an imprint of a bloody hand in empty space, and even her tongue, lit as a candle complete with wick, as it melts away like burning wax.
Baran unashamedly uses herself in all these creations, a rather eccentric set of self-portraits. One might say that Baran is able to produce an enigmatic mirror of herself that exists in a parallel dimension. It is a slightly macabre reality, with hers dressed in black and faceless, set in surroundings that can only be described as desolate and dreary.
They manifest a dark emotional tone that could only be the subliminal musings of a mind that is absorbed with the murky images of bad dreams and nightmares. Still, Baran the photographer shows her exceptional talent, capturing the surreal and weird quite amazingly. Her approach has been described as being moody for some, a signature style that is definitely filled with emotion, a quality that helps to draw even more viewers.
What is particularly impressive about Baran’s photos is the narrative behind each of them, especially with the knowledge that what you see is very intimately connected with Baran herself, a solitary female in a make-believe world.
See her captivatingly moody images here.