Female Gaze as Shot by Alison Resac
"If there’s a subject that I want to touch on, or even just something that interests me, I try to think of it in terms of tones and allusions. I tend to stray away from more obvious depictions because I think that interpretation is such a beautiful thing in art."
Photographic artist Alison Resac creates cinematic imagery with a strong narrative centred around the female gaze. Her work is an unapologetic celebration of being female and her work stands as a statement on her own perspectives in sex and gender but also a very intimate reflection of herself. Her fashion based photographic work seeks to empower women and create a discursive on their role as protagonists in modern art.
Tell us more about you and your artwork.
A lot of my work is a reflection of self, the things that I’m interested in, the things that I’m dealing with, and things going on in the world around me. I grew up in a very conservative town where you got dirty looks for being different and “boys will be boys” was the motto that even the women lived by. My mom raised me to live and think for myself. I think once I figured out that I could express that through my photos, I dove headfirst into a constant stream of creating. There’s a lot of angst and sexual overtones in my work because I like giving the people who think that women should dress a certain way or that us as a society should suppress our emotions something that challenges their preconceived notions, or at the very least, makes them feel uncomfortable.
How do you plan for a shoot?
Google docs is honestly my lifeline in planning for a shoot haha. I think it works really well when I share my vision with the model so I send them lists of things to bring, shot lists, concepts, and mood boards. I usually have the model bring a whole duffel bag of stuff so that I can outfit them right before the shoot. It’s cool too because some models will get super into it and add to the doc or send me pictures of outfits and props and stuff.
What is your creative process?
If there’s a subject that I want to touch on, or even just something that interests me, I try to think of it in terms of tones and allusions. I tend to stray away from more obvious depictions because I think that interpretation is such a beautiful thing in art. I also draw a lot of inspiration from literature and music. If something resonates with me, I sort of piggyback off of what I liked about it and depict it in the context which I see it. And I sketch a LOTTTTT.
What work inspires or has inspired you?
As for photographers, a few of my top inspirations are Petra Collins, Tyler Shields, Sarah Bahbah, Miles Aldridge and Signe Pierce. I’m also so inspired by other types of visual art. I love Grace Miceli. I love Marina Abramovic’s timeless work and I’ve also been really into Marina Fini!
Are there any artistic movements you enjoy in particular and why?
Recently I’ve been super into the Girl Gang movement. I think it holds such important ideals and I’ve seen a lot of great art come from the topic. It also has such a cute aesthetic.
Do you have any opinions or ideals underlying your art?
Oh, for sure! I think the most important opinions and ideals incorporated in my work deal with equal treatment towards women. A lot of times it’s more subtle but I’m a firm believer that women should be able to dress how they want without a fear or being slut shamed or assaulted. I also think that women should be able to dress for themselves, hell, do whatever they want for themselves, not for a man. It’s okay if girls wear turtle necks and it’s okay if they wear low-cut crop tops. I think sometimes it’s hard for people to understand that feminism is about total equality. That means if a girl wants to be submissive in bed or in a relationship, that doesn’t make her any less of a feminist. That doesn’t mean she respects herself any less. It’s crucial to remind people of notions like this. I like to think that these are the ideals that I put into my work.
Your images are very intimate portraits. How do you source subjects? Are your subjects friends or strangers?
It’s really a mixture of both. I started out just taking photos of my friends but when models started contacting me I branched out. I still love taking photos of my friends but now, a lot of times I’ll see dope girls on Instagram or just on the street who really inspire me and I’ll ask them to model for me. If I’m shooting with someone new, I always offer to drive to the location we’re shooting at so that we have some time to get to know each other. It creates a safe environment because it builds a level of trust; I can photograph them in a way that highlights their personality and they’re not afraid to be themselves in front of the camera.
Any words for aspiring photographers?
Never stop learning, never get comfortable, always stay curious, the more you shoot the better you get, don’t be so hard on yourself, let go of what other people think, be bold and unapologetically you, make things that move you and that emotion will translate, take the time to actually see things, if you can’t afford a DSLR buy a film camera, you can’t be the best and you can’t be the worst so just make art for you and don’t worry too much about comparing