As an openly gay and disabled man, Joey Solomon’s artistic work hones in on the psychology of self and other humans through portrait studies and darkroom accidents using the lens as his medium. Solomon pulls much of his work perspective from personal entanglements in recurring themes of mental and physical illness. His images continue to document motifs surrounding familial shared illness, queer self-view and the erosion of our Earth. In May of 2019, Joey Solomon earned his BFA in Photography & Imaging from NYU’s Tisch School of The Arts. Prints of Solomon’s have been exhibited in museums and galleries internationally. Solomon is currently working as a photography assistant and archivist for Jeffrey Henson Scales.
Portraits of my Mother
In his ongoing series “Portraits of my Mother,” Joey Solomon uses portrait repetition and psychological documentation to better understand his own mental illnesses. Solomon’s mother navigates life with a multitude of mental diagnoses. Each of Solomon’s photographs within this lifelong ongoing portrait project are grasps at visual examples of hereditary gene passing and symptoms of mental illnesses that are shared by blood but intangible. Self-portraits, dual portraits as well as portraits of non-human life are within this series to further obscure binary lines between the artist and his mother; stability and psychosis.
With this ongoing collection of self-portraits through his own skin or others, he looks to acknowledge internal dissonance and copes by using his photography to grasp what symptoms of his internal ADHD, PTSD, anxiety and depressive disorders may look like in the various stages of his daily triumphs and emotional defeats. Interestingly, Solomon feels as though he is able to detail his experience as a human living with multiple dueling mental illnesses far better through his work, photographing externally and finding images of himself within the external. If nothing else, Solomon’s work serves to affirm a learning process in our tender and dysfunctional species.
To view more of Joey Solomon’s work please visit his website.