The Exquisite Agony of Passing Through | Haute Macabre

The Exquisite Agony of Passing Through


We’re excited to announce tonight’s opening of Passing Through, a hauntingly beautiful photography exhibition at Central Tattoo Studio in Philadelphia.

“Passing Through is a symbolist and surrealist exploration of beauty, femininity, isolation, and pain. Each photographer in this exhibition creates a narrative in which they, themselves, are the subject, or they use models to represent the emotional, psychological and physical struggle of what it means to be a woman in our society. The resulting imagery is emotive yet dynamic.”

Co-curated by artist Crystal Lee Lucas and Melissa Montiel, Gallery Director for Central Tattoo Studio, the show features the work of three stylistically distinct, yet spiritually kindred photographers.

Jordanna Kalman:

Kalman creates surreal imagery that is poetic and introspective, pairing her subjects with natural elements to create the overall piece.

Michelle Rogers-Pritzl:

Rogers-Pritzl captures the beauty of pain with tattooed models who are in distorted positions, or who are tied up to display the fleshiness of the human body.

and Crystal Lee Lucas:

Lucas’ work aches with melancholy and femininity. She isolates her subjects and surrounds them with natural elements.

Finding an artist whose work speaks to you is a gift unto itself. But if you’ve ever fallen down an entrancing rabbit hole of art (online or irl), you know how that initial connection, that spark of falling in love with the work of a particular artist, can lead to the discovery of more artists whose work also resonates, inspires, impassions, and nourishes.

Those wondrous daisy chains of artists can continue to grow indefinitely (and *cough* they’re one of the reasons I’m so enraged when orphaned art is posted across the internets without credit). Crystal Lee Lucas is part of my own collection of artists whose work has led to the discovery of still more. I’ve been all aswoon over her unspeakably beautiful lyrical photography for years, so full of secrets, ghosts, fragility, and melancholy. So it’s a true pleasure to discover not one, but two new artists thanks to Lucas’ participation in Passing Through.

Jordanna Kalman received her MA in photography from the London College of Communication and her BFA in photography from Purchase College. Kalman has shown her work nationally, internationally and online. In addition to her practice, she runs the online photography gallery Streit House Space and the Instagram residency program Streit Lab. She lives in New York with her family.

Michelle Rogers-Pritzl explores the tension between past and present in our psychological lives, as well as the photographic medium itself, often working in a digital/analogue hybrid. Pritzl works in alternative and historic photographic processes, and has been widely exhibited in New York, San Francisco, New Orleans, Fort Collins, Boston and Washington DC, among others. She was born in the Washington D.C. area, where she was raised Southern Baptist. Pritzl received a BFA from the Corcoran College of Art and Design in 2001, an MA from California State University in 2010, and an MFA in Photography from Lesley University College of Art, where she studied with Christopher James, in 2014. She lives on a farm in the Finger Lakes with her family and teaches art.

Crystal Lee Lucas is a self-taught photographer, creating haunting narratives inspired by the spiritual aspects of early photography and the Victorian era. Through photography, Lucas creates compelling compositions that explore a spectrum of emotions: solitude, inner-turmoil, depression, anxiety. This exploration is a means of coming to terms with the past, present, future and everything felt along the way. Often using herself as the subject in her photographs, Lucas is a contemplative figure set against the natural world. For Lucas, nature is both uncontrollable and unpredictable yet it is a source of superior beauty and strength.

“We chose these artists for our gallery because the concept of pain and beauty is shared with the art of tattooing.” says Melissa Montiel, Gallery Director for Central Tattoo Studio. “There is a level of pain necessary in order to create something beautiful. For the artist and the human canvas, there is a level of pain that we must go through to create and feel beauty.”

Passing Through opens today, June 7th, at Central Tattoo Studio and will be on display through Sunday, Sept 1, 2019. An opening reception will be held tongiht from 6pm to 9pm, EST.

Find: Jordanna Kalman // Michelle Rogers-Pritzl // Crystal Lee Lucas