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Meet Siri Elena

Today we’d like to introduce you to Siri Elena.

Every artist has a unique story. Can you briefly walk us through yours?
I grew up in Salem, Oregon, but our close extended family was pretty spread out. Disposable and digital cameras were a norm to show everyone what our little corner of the world was like. I loved being in control of the camera, and when I left home to finish high school at Coronado School of the Arts, I took that desire to document what my life experiences were with me. I wound up in Chicago at DePaul University for college, where I was double-majoring in directing for the theatre and media arts, and developed a mild obsession with self-portraiture a la Cindy Sherman. My artistic work shifted focus from purely documentary to portraiture-focused, particularly in how individuals process the world that they live in. I was working in a museum at the time and started my own headshot photography business to help make ends meet. After college, I moved to Los Angeles, where I worked as a yearbook photo editor trying to make it look like kids weren’t crying in school pictures and a real estate photographer for properties that may or may not have existed at the time. When I came back to San Diego in 2017, I enjoyed being able to focus my work back into fine art photography and the individual experience of the world. I’m currently trying to push my series of self-portraiture and mental health-related images to the abstract the concepts I’m exploring.

Please tell us about your art.
I primarily deal with digital photographs of people and the places they inhabit. I’m specifically interested in how people navigate the world around them, their rituals and feelings about themselves in the context of their relationships and environment. Coming from a dual art and theatrical background I view my subjects as multi-dimensional characters and hope that their positioning in the environment reflects how they interact with the world.

We often hear from artists that being an artist can be lonely. Any advice for those looking to connect with other artists?
Genuinely try to connect with people. As people. Not as artists, collabs, or advertisements. Commenting regularly on their social media in a way beyond “Nice pic! Check out my page!” Going to a gallery opening and figuring out what the person is interested in, how you can help them, and maybe something that’s not even related to their work can do wonders to connecting with other artists in a way that keeps you engaged with them, not in a superficial or transactional means. The best artists I’ve worked with I meet up with for game nights or drinks or drawing hang-outs, so the projects we work on are built out of a friendship, not a contractual obligation. Plus then the ways in which you help each other are much more personally tailored, and your results will always be more passionate.

How or where can people see your work? How can people support your work?
At the moment, my work is only available online. My portfolio website, www.sirielena.co, and on my Instagram @siri.elena. If people are interested in purchasing prints, they can send me an email at hello@sirielena.co or a DM on Instagram.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Siri Elena

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