During the East Austin Studio Tour last fall, I met Richard Casteel, a creative and driven photographer based in Austin, originally from Greenville, SC. He has an interesting path that includes travel, water, the earth, meditation and capturing milliseconds. We met for coffee to discuss his portrait series and ended up connecting on a few different levels, as reflected in his Artist Statement: Through the experience of loss I chose to weather the storm by meeting more people to work with and by creating more photographs. I ultimately chose freedom of creation over a false love and it has proven to be a deeply rich and beautiful experience.
He asked if I was interested in modeling for the portrait series and, his process being a synergic one, I looked forward to collaborating. We met in his studio shortly before Christmas and I brought a few items unique to my story (Luna’s hair, my antique Colt Single Action Revolver, horse skull, family jewelry, the dress I wore for my wedding reception [first time I let it touch me since], a gown I wore in DVLS RVR). We listened to music, talked, brainstormed, took some portraits. The tune of the imagery was based on where I was in life at that moment … feeling free from a past tornAdo, motivated to do and learn, high off my own resilience, excited to absorb life. His goal was to capture the freedom, power, emotion and strength I was feeling at the time. [Thank you, Richard!] I am working to open up more in my creative expression and this is part of that process. Tapping into my weird. My real.
Please read Richard’s Artist Statement below and, if you find yourself in Austin tonight, Saturday 7/22, come on out to the opening of a group show at Black Lagoon, which will feature several photos from his series.
In my past I was a scientist. I have moved on from studying cause and effect relationships of a seemingly well defined existence. I now live in a world of creation – more akin to the quantum world – where experience is deeply tied to thought and feeling. For the last few years as a photographer/artist/meditator/conscious explorer I have become and continue to become more acutely aware of the reality of this world – that which you think/feel, you create. My photographs are often an initial vision/concept/thought I have in my mind that I then express through visual media – this is the fun of the creative challenge.
I feel like this series is still in its infancy. It was born from the unexpected loss of a deep, deep love – sparked by a girlfriend insecure about me taking a boudoir photography job. Through the experience of loss I chose to weather the storm by meeting more people to work with and by creating more photographs. I ultimately chose freedom of creation over a false love and it has proven to be a deeply rich and beautiful experience. I am eternally grateful.