Melanie Metz, a visual artist born in 1992, resides in South Florida and is working on her BFA at Florida International University. She is primarily a film-based photographer who makes her own c-prints out of a traditional darkroom. Melanie’s work has been featured in publications such as Juxtapoz, Broadly, Lenscratch, and many more. She considers herself to be a story-teller, in that each of her images present narratives surrounding themes of childhood, mysticism, and the natural cycle of life. She wants for her work to be conceptually accessible and understood by people of any background, especially those whom are not as fortunate to have received an education in art. This is undertaken by photographing people in rural environments who prosper from the bare necessities of life: family, land, animals… rather than those who find comfort in the commodities that are fetishized by urban society. To simply see the overlooked magic integrated in the everyday has proven itself to be a gift, which validates her conscious decision to live life humbly.
I grew up in Davie, Florida, a sleepy and mostly disregarded suburb. Horse trailers park next to the state road connecting the suburb to the intercostal homes of Fort Lauderdale beach.
This body of work attaches my personal relationship to my hometown. However, while exploring this particular culture I also investigate the assimilations of what a culture represents, the breaking off and creation of subcultures, the recognition of those subcultures as subcultures and the process of discovering the characteristics constituting those particular communities. Where do our communities come together and where do we pull apart and how does this manifest in our interactions with our environment around us?
We live in an age where technology connects and isolates people from one another. Many of us find ourselves, either by choice or not, spending massive amounts of time on our technological devices, becoming hyperaware of our self-representation on the internet, weakening our connection to the natural world. Does this decrease in our connection with the external world make our interactions with one another and our natural environment incomplete?
I seek out clues to these questions within the unmediated movements of the people around me in their uncontrived settings. My portraits portray people who manage to maintain a close relationship to their outdoor environments. Many of the images exhibit children, spontaneous and uninhibited humans who are not preoccupied with public correctness and have yet to become fully aware of the digital age we live in.
To view more of Melanie’s work please visit her website.