Le Divin Féminin [French for “the divine feminine”] is a photographic series that delves into what it means to be feminine and how it comes from within no matter what sex, age, ethnicity, or sexual orientation you are.
Kristen Wheeler’s series presents beautiful nude photographs in a stylish and tasteful way. Her work was inspired by Man Ray, one of her favorite artists, and her own fine art background where nudes were drawn and photographed for their beauty in color, contrast, light, form, and lines, and not for their sexual content. Too often nude photography is perceived as being overly sexualized these days. Wheeler’s images, on the contrary, question the notion of gender divide and the permeability of gender boundaries, introducing photos of dancers, performers, drag queens, singers, male and female of all ages, ethnicity, gender and sexual orientation; images that all work towards questioning and illustrating the notion of femininity today.
In Kristen Wheeler’s work we are witnessing private moments in a series of intimate portraits: a nude woman looking at a reflection of herself in a mirror, a male dancer wearing vintage corsets because they relieve back tension, a woman sporting a riveting Man Ray look as a reaction against our society’s expectations of feminine beauty, a drag queen on stage – half in the limelight, half in shadow. All suggest the many facets a single life can take; suggesting that, even the description given here about them, doesn’t suffice at delimitating and defining their identity. One common thread is that their femininity, whether they are male or female, shows us how vulnerable yet strong, meaningful and unique they all are. We, as viewers, are just a fly-on-the-wall, witnessing the many idiosyncrasies of human life, and that, as Wheeler says, “no matter who you are, there is a feminine part to all of us and it is beautiful”.
Kristen Wheeler is a thoroughly modern artist who interprets her world through a unique combination of traditional fine arts, photography, and cutting-edge computer techniques. Painting from the time she was old enough to pick up a paintbrush, she initially studied illustration, design, photography, and art history while attending art school in Michigan. It was there that she discovered the magic of film and darkroom processing, which then led to whole new arenas of self-expression through digital rendering.
The pursuit of these studies and the desire to travel led her to Central Florida to attain a degree in 3D computer animation. She enjoyed a successful professional career with the Walt Disney Company for 5 years following, working for Walt Disney Imagineering as a Visual Communications Specialist and in-house photographer and previously as a Technical Illustrator for Resort Documentation. With inspiration ranging from retro pin-ups to Hollywood glamour, dance and theater to portraiture, and contemporary design to faded antiques, her unique artistic vision has many outlets. Her professional clientele includes many diverse and élite theatre and dance companies, professional models, interior design firms, as well as many corporate and non-profit organizations. She is now solely dedicated to her photography and design business from her home in Central Florida and travels all over the globe with her camera.
For more info on Kristen Wheeler visit her website: http://www.khphotographics.com/ and for information on Le Divin Feminin series of nudes contact: Coralie@jaigallery.net
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