Most of us when we visit a cool new spot, be it a landmark or a new brunch spot — snap a photo and post it to Instagram.
And then the comments, likes and reactions pour on in about how you look as opposed to the world around you.
One artist by the name of Stephanie Leigh Rose wanted to change that — and discovered a way to document her travels without stealing focus.
She calls her anti-selfies, “STEFDIES,” where she poses in famous locations, appearing to be dead.
“The entire point of STEFDIES, is that the viewer is allowed to participate in the image-, whether that is by imagining the circumstances of the surrounding image, or in recreating the STEFDIES pose in their own photos.” Stepahnie told Bored Panda.
“My long hair (and swimsuit in selected photos) would allude to the fact I am a female, but outside of a viewer coming to one of my gallery shows and meeting me personally, I prefer to keep STEFDIES neutral and free of age, nationality, politic, socioeconomic status. STEFDIES is a character of its own, and I invite people to connect with that, and interpret the scenes as they wish. Part of the joy and humor of STEFDIES, is no-one knows exactly what the hell is going on, and that’s pretty much a direct reflection of real life in general.”
A STEFDIES photo is a moment that is captured in time — with zero preparation.
The images are spontaneous and genuine — as Stephanie does not set anything up or use any props.
“All STEFDIES images occur spontaneously in my daily life,” the artist said. “The images the viewer happens to see are the 25% of images that are useable. This is why a STEFDIES image is the opposite of a selfie. A selfie has controlled conditions, specific lighting, makeup/hair/wardrobe, an agenda, and is focused on the individual personality- it is a contrived and manipulated image distorted to achieve a desired result. STEFDIES is the polar opposite- I get one chance to get the shot, if it doesn’t happen, c’est la vie. We have one life to live, and we don’t get re-do’s- and i would like to think i try to capture that feeling, that fleeting sense of life and its impermanence, in my photos.”
“There was an organic evolution to STEFDIES. The early STEFDIES photos were humor snapshots of my life, pretty much in times I was completely exhausted and amused by the situations I found myself in, and wanted to capture these moments in time, to be able to remember and reflect on those points in my life that seems utterly ridiculous. So STEFDIES has always been a direct reflection of my desire to hold onto these seemingly minor or huge moments of my life, that I knew would be washed away to the ravages of time or memory, if i didn’t capture them in their proper moment. Never perfect, as perfection is not what I aim for, but merely the reality of the situation in all of its imperfections.”
“As I posted some of these initial shots, I received an incredible response from friends and strangers alike, something in the ridiculousness of these poses, or the reactions of the passer-by,” Stephanie continued. “It brought them joy they wrote, it made their day a little bit brighter and brought them a much needed laugh. I realized I wanted to continue putting something positive into the world, while at the same time using art to synthesize my feelings and thoughts regarding our impermanence on this earth. The official STEFDIES slogan is ‘leave a mark.’ I’d like to think I’m doing that.”
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