Today: May 22, 2024

Photography captures thoughts of bashful artist

Photo Courtesy Carli Freeman
Denaro says her atwork reflets the thoughts in her mind.

Olivia RichmanGeneral Assignment Reporter
When it comes to photographing the subject of a ghost professional photographer, Emily Denaro, said she likes to dress up her friend in a white sheet and stick him into every photograph. Actually, that’s just a joke.
“The photograph itself is the mechanism which functions as a ghost,” said Denaro, explaining her style of photography. “It spooks, it stirs up, etc.”
Denaro, who said she began taking great photographs at the age of fout and a half, has her artwork on display in the Lyman Center at Southern Connecticut State University.
Her first work that she started to consider great, was of a house on Martha’s Vineyard covered in flowers.
Denaro, who has purposefully avoided contests of any type, said she had a minor in photography at Emerson College. And since she has avoided contests, her friends have sent in work for her.
“I don’t like contests so I have never given myself that opportunity,” Denaro said. “I think it’s just a little weird. I have been lucky enough to get into some cool publications, like ‘No Depression’ (a magazine). I have won awards for writing and design but usually someone has unwillingly put me up for that, and it’s all been a bit ridiculous.”
With no intentions of winning anything, Denaro set up her photography in the Lyman Center to have on display. The photographs are mostly of objects. Denaro said that they represent her mind.
“It’s like a portion in my brain on display,” she said. “I’m really pleased that I was asked to do a show here.”
“Everyone finds beauty in different things,” said Matt Thresher, a student at SCSU. “I practice photography from time to time because I enjoy it, there are some things that I see or experience that I feel need to be preserved in more than just a memory.”
The photographs are displayed on the walls and inside glass cases on either side of the entrance into the theater in the Lyman Center.

Photo Courtesy Carli Freeman
One of Emily Denaro’s photos at the gallery in Lyman Center.

“A lot of my memories are of bold, bright snippets only,” said Denaro, “so that’s how I display them. I wanted to give greater context to the two cases I really decked out.
The snow scenes are from 2009, when I lived in West Philly. It washell.
The most common thing to see on the street was what I placed in the case (and blood and weave).
When the snow came the sense of desolation was both calm and unnerving.”
For the other case, Denaro said she decided to do a totally different theme.
“The other case is a different sort of piece. The images are of a place called Shamokin, also in Pa.,” she said. “It was once a booming coal town and now is a phantom of its former glory. I only went there once. The images, like memories of a place from long ago or from a place you barely recall, are small and only really viewable via loupes. The ‘decorations’ allow you to step into that moment with me; the moment I entered Shamokin.”
According to Denaro, her favorite piece from the collection was actually one she never put on display.
A piece she describes as “a photo of a light switch with all the wires tangling out.”
The story behind this piece is very sentimental to Denaro. It is of a light switch in her friend’s home. The home was falling apart, she said, and even rained on you while you slept.
“He was living in this total shithole,” she said, “it was out of control.”
While she was there in the gutted home in the west side of Philadelphia, Denaro took a lot of pictures of the house and the one she chose as her favorite, sentimental photograph was that of the light switch with the tumbling wires.
“You know? In some ways, I prefer photographs of objects because they give you a glimpse into the backgrounds of the surroundings,” said Thresher, a video production major. “Depending on the object in the frame, you can deduce where it most likely is; what type of people would be using it or living around it; if it was, say, a vehicle or farm tool or like a household object.”
Denaro, who said she doesn’t like to use gadgets and gizmos and “all that bullshit,” said she doesn’t have any photography techniques but she knows if a photograph is good or not by “if you have to start pretending to have contacts to make up for your eye tearing or if you have to fake cough as an excuse for why you are red-faced. That’s when it is good for you, but it might not be good for all…but if it does its job once, then I think that’s enough.”

1 Comment

  1. Interesting post, Dave. Ryan and had a discussion about this just the other night. I agree with some of what you have wreittn here, although I cringed when I read It seems some women don’t want people to know that when you account for everything, the world is not as oppressive as they have been led to believe. And that’s why they still use the 78% number. There are other reasons to use the 78% figure besides outright deception. Personally, I think the 78% gap is an important figure, and perhaps more informative actually than the 95% figure, although I do agree that both should be used and explained. I think it helps to note the difference between wage discrimination and gender discrimination. You write to study gender discrimination properly you need to control for all these factors. Not true. To study wage discrimination properly, you need to control for the factors, but to study gender discrimination it is important to have a measure of the outcomes, given all the different choices that men and women make. This isn’t to say that the full 22% is discrimination as you note, we need to ask why the genders choose different paths. But the 5% figure obscures a lot of things. Also to say there is no discrimination when there is equality of opportunity is still not enough I think. A woman may choose to be a nurse rather than, say, a machinist because she prefers to work with people. If the wage differential is due to compensating differentials, then fine this is a choice. But if the wage difference is due to historical and social constructs that depressed wages in women’s jobs’ and increased wages in manufacturing, this is not just compensating differentials. Women may also choose jobs based on their flexibility to exit and enter the market, so they can spend some time at home raising children. The social values on this are changing towards a more equitable share of household production, but change is slow. And as women are (still) more likely to be tied-movers and tied-stayers (i.e. they are more likely than men to move with their spouse has a job opportunity in another location or turn down opportunities in other cities) which also depresses wages. None of these are direct discrimination but they are institutions that work against wage equality. One more thing because this is the point that Ryan often raises. The women don’t bargain well’ explanation drives me crazy. Why do you think women don’t bargain well or (in other research) do worse when competition heats up? Perhaps it is because girls and women who are strong and aggressive are often criticized as not being feminine enough while for men these are positive attributes. Female politicians have to walk a fine line, for example. OK, I’ll stop. Obviously a hot button issue in our household!

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