Published by Safe-T-Gallery Inc.
Don Burmeister: Owner/Editor
Barbara Confino: Associate Editor
A hoarder’s dilemma and an obsessive-compulsive dream, Rachel Perry Welty’s latest photography series, “Lost in My Life” creates engaging patterns from the chaos and discards of human consumption in today’s consumer culture.
Welty’s large-scale portraits initially started from miniature sculptures and “Lost in My Life (boxes)” was directly influenced by this process. Welty created an interior space with flattened cereal and cookie boxes taken from her own pantry. She then placed herself in the center of this installation and hiding her face with a grocery store circular. These boxes represent the daily consumption and disposal created over time in life’s daily routine. Welty puts herself into these scenes as a human element or a foundation of this cyclical dilemma, yet unlike a classical portrait, she covers her face, shifting the focus from herself and creating an obscurity between personal identity and the boundless materials that make up her surroundings. In one of my particularly favorite photographs “Lost in My Life (price tags),” Welty stands with her back to the viewer, hand lifted to add one more price tag to the wall in front of her, the dress she wears mimics her surroundings, created by individual and multi-colored price tags. This chaotic organization produced by the countless price tags is only broken by the iconic round, cheery cheeked face of the Quaker Oats man.
Welty emphasizes her observations of “consumer habits” with vivid imagery and life-size portraits that could be seen as part installation. She adds a Pop Art touch to the photographs, which at once creates a brilliant visual choreography and a topical and comical wink at consumerism and its’ stifling hold on the human need to purchase and discard.