Shawn Winebrenner, 2018 BFA Candidate

Artist Statement: My photography process involves dissecting the fundamental aspects of the things that are a part of my overall being — as a human, as an artist, and as a same-gender loving man of color. It works as an extension of my personal journey, commentary on human interactions, and the varied commonalities that unite us. My creative process is moving me closer towards better understanding the juxtaposition of who I authentically am, as an individual, and the person the world thinks I am. This body of work explores masking, a human coping mechanism used to conform to collective social pressures which often locks individuals into a continuous engagement of behavioral modifications. In an attempt to please others, maintain relationships, and hold appearances genuine emotions are frequently substituted for artificial ones. This work visually interprets the practice of masking, shown through a series of photographic images, as it relates to my own personal experiences. My hope is to initiate dialogue among people about similar life occurrences and establish connections as they relate the images to their own practices of masking.