Kim Sobanski [stOOpidgErL]

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I am currently an alumni from Wayne State University [Detroit, MI]. I received my BFA in photography in December 2005.

My imagery can be divided into 3 main bodies. The 1st body of work is self-portraiture. I chose to do these digitally and later manipulate them with Photoshop. I dress up in costume and use makeup to conceal my identity. I transform into someone or something else. My imagery is on the verge of being the anti-thesis of beauty. In portraiture people are almost always made up to look their best. I do the opposite and make my appearance ghoulish and strange. My body of work is also about bizarre fashion concoctions and pushing the boundaries.

Self-portraiture is an escape for me. I feel free to be whoever. I do not fear the gaze of discrimination. This all stems back from my roots. Throughout my K-12 education I faced ridicule on a daily basis. I didn’t know how to deal with it. So I suppressed it. I began altering my appearance in order to integrate and blend in with the majority. I felt so fake- I hated it. So when my interest grew in photography I began flirting with my old self. I went to the thrift stores and loaded up my closet with colorful, psychedelic finds. I started to feel more like myself again. These shoots are a liberating experience for me. It is a way of me purging out all that I have suppressed through the years. Deep down inside, I’m a freak. We are all freaks, in some way or another.

I have always felt that the world would be a better place if we would all rid of that fear to be ourselves. To dress how we want and not be afraid of condemnation. I believe the world would look if we were not afraid to leave our homes with green hair and a face full of glitter or clothes with hot pinks and neon yellows. Imagine what the world would look like if we all drove cars that weren’t so drab. Where is all of the color at nowadays? Why do we all feel this compulsion to all blend in with the crowd?

The 2nd body of work that I focus on is my work completed by utilizing the toy camera. Ever since I was introduced to a cheap, plastic Holga camera, it has been an addiction for me. This is my abandonment of the digital revolution that is quickly taking over. I love the fact that the concern is minimal. Shooting is so carefree. Sometimes the shots are composed carefully and when I’m feeling adventurous I will shoot from the hip. I like to venture out with my camera and look for unusual and unique places. The subject matter usually involves kitsch. Using this camera also allows for experimentation such as: double or multiple exposures, panoramas, long exposures, etc.

The 3rd body of work is that of urban exploration throughout the ruins of Detroit, a dead and decaying city that is now attempting to revitalize itself. I feel compelled to document the destruction of a once thriving city. Change is rapidly taking place now in attempt to halt the spreading disease of urban decay. I am aware that this type of photography may be rather cliché and overdone in the city of Detroit, but these images are special to me. They say, “I was here” and “this is what once was.” These images are a means of preservation of the city that I have a love/hate relationship with. Many of the images that I have documented buildings no longer exist, and all that remains is the photograph.

There are several other smaller bodies of work that I have created. I would like to consider myself to be a diverse artist/photographer who is capable of accomplishing any task or expelling any vision that I have within me that needs to be expressed.

Currently, I am pursuing the Polaroid medium. I have a strong adoration for the instant gratification that is achieved. I also have a great respect for the uniqueness about each single image. I am presently working with alternative Polaroid processes. A selection of these works are featured on the Polaroid website.


::: Detroit :::




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Gibraltar Fair 2005 TWISTER

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store window... Ferndale, MI

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