The opportunity to engage in art created by like-minded people with a similar identity has incredible meaning for the LGBTQIA+ community and others who may not often see themselves reflected in mainstream media. As a non-binary, queer and feminine artistic photographer, Sophie Chalk breaks down barriers and challenges traditional norms in the art world. Their unique blend of old and new world aesthetics captivates the audience with striking lighting design and historical cues. Telling important stories about queer experiences that are often overlooked or underrepresented.
at Sophia’s the work is characterized by a high level of technical skill and a deep understanding of history, which allows them to seamlessly blend old and new world aesthetics. With a portfolio of portraits that could rival some of the greats in the history of studio photography for their lighting design alone. Sophie’s technical achievements for an artist under 30 are truly remarkable. Sophie also received a scholarship to the Parsons MFA program, which they completed online during the era of COVID-19.
“I use photography to encourage viewers of my art to see the world around them again,” Sophie explains the motivation behind their work. “Questioning images held in archives that we believe to be historically accurate or true, even though so many stories could never be told.” Creating these portraits also allowed Sophie to see her own identity reflected in their work before they could come to terms with it. “It’s almost like I’ve created a world where historically it was safe to just be me,” they said. Creating this world has become the mission of the fast-rising artist and photographer.
Sharing some of her wisdom on how they developed their practice, Sophie shared “Copying, imitating and emulating are valuable skills to cultivate as an artist. They allow you to gain control over your process and find your own unique voice. Just make sure you name and pay homage to your inspiration.” Some of the old world photographers Sophie has mentioned in the past include Madame d’Ora, Edward Steichen, Harriet Louise and Cecil Beaton. “Much of my other inspiration comes from contemporary LGBTQIA+ artists such as Catherine Opie, Joel Stephen Birnie, Jessica Schwientek, Jesse Egner and Connor ‘Foot’ Ovenden-Shaw,”.
Audiences around the world love this style of work, as evidenced by the thousands of engagements on Sophie’s social media platforms. After bringing her love of photography all the way from Australia, Sophie has had a lot of success in the past year. Their other experimental works without darkroom cameras have been received overseas in locations including Melbourne, Pingyao, Bandung, New York and Barcelona. Speaking to us, Sophie says they’re excited to get attention for their portraits because that’s where they first fell in love with photography.
Using their unique artistic voice, Sophie creates a new inclusive narrative that presents diverse perspectives. Challenging what we know from visual history and what we hold to be truth in the archives. To that end, Sophie has just launched an art education podcast with art historian and educator Seema Rao, aptly named ArtLust Podcast.
With their exceptional talent, innovative approach and impressive exhibition record, Sophie Chalk is an artist to watch. Be sure to check theirs out portfolio and follow them on social media to keep up to date with their latest projects.
Presented by: Ascend Agency