By Princy Prasad
Kateleen Foy,senior psychology and photography major, has exhibited her work nine times. Her latest show, opening April 6 in the Rosenberg gallery in Calkins Hall, challenged how the photographer and her audience view relationships.
The basic idea for “Gimme Some Sugar” began in Foy’s documentary class. Foy wanted to push herself by working with two models and capture the unique idea of identity within a relationship. She photographed over two dozen couples, and they differ in gender, race, age, and length of the relationship.
Foy did not make the models do anything they did not want to do. Each couple was captured as naturally as possible. No artificial lighting. No posing. No forced concept of what love and the display of it should be.
Couples in new relationships tended to be more awkward or stiff at first. This was Foy’s challenge. By working with the models one-on-one, she was able to make the couples comfortable displaying a personal glimpse into their lives. The intimacy, quirkiness and individuality captured deepened with each relationship she shot.
Foy enjoyed this natural, documentary photography. She has a fondness for photographing people, and this love of people helped her immensely with this project. It was not just about photographing couples, but documenting the happiness and unique quality each couple created together.
Each photograph has the names of the models, their ages, their anniversary (if they have one), how they met, and how long they have been together. This information gives a little more insight into what Foy saw and understood in each couple.
Some couples hardly needed the bios, displaying their unique traits boldly in the images themselves.
One of Foy’s favorite images is her photograph of Bethany Dill and Denis Naymark. The couple are both Hofstra students, locked in an intimate kiss as Naymark is literally juggling his girlfriend. Dill’s body curves over his back and along his shoulders while her arms are looped across his chest.
A sight of anatomical dexterity, the photo also shows how unique the couple is. From the passion of the kiss to the oddness of the positioning, there is clearly happiness and love in this boisterous relationship.
Along with this couple, Foy has couples that have been married, are engaged, and even couples that have been together for years without ever having signed legal documents. The latter being a couple that met at a Hillary Clinton book signing around the 70's and have been together for over 40 years but never got legally married.
This wide range allows the audience to see love in its many forms, showing that intimacy means something different for each couple. Love is a natural, necessary act, and Foy wants her work to be remembered as a study of that beautifully human act.
In Foys opinion, pictures are easy to forget since they have a flat, 2-dimensional aspect to them, but she wants to counter that by creating dynamic, inspiring art. She certainly has done so with this inquisitive look into the meaning of love.
The opening reception will take place April 7th at 6:00 PM. You can follow Foy and view more of her work at her Flickr site: https://www.flickr.com/photos/64696667@N06/.