Tiny Vignettes of Life

In continuation with my series of intimate portraits of plant life, I’ve titled this piece Tiny Vignettes of Life because I feel it is important, especially in the current political climate, to hold onto ones own humanity. This photo could be a tiny vignette into any one person’s day. Maybe while doing laundry on a rainy day in November, the way the light falls on drying plant hanging in a window catches your eye, so you take note. In fact, I was doing laundry, and the light did catch my eye, but it was January in Chicago, and snow had now been replaced by rain, even thunder storms. During a time when climate change is denied,  our education system on the verge of being privatized, the very real possibility of the DAPL being constructed, our civil rights at stake; loving our neighbor and embracing our empathy as intelligent beings has never been more crucial.

In this fast changing world, holding onto the moments that make me feel human have helped manage the stress of what is potentially to come. Cooking a communal meal, observing the light and how it falls on an object, participating in good conversation, watering my plants and reading are rituals of living. What are some of your rituals? What makes you feel human?

I’m interested in what you have to say. Please send stories of your human experience to courtney@courtneypenzato.com.

Ting Vignettes of Life

Posted in Photography, Plant Life, Politics Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,

Loud Mouth

In response to the thirty million people whole lost their healthcare overnight and to the fifty-five million women who will no longer be able to afford birth control. Women who are no longer given the simple human right to be in control of our own fucking bodies. The only thing that truly belongs to us, nothing was ever promised. We were never entitled to anything, other than what we were born with. Skin. Thats all. Skin. If we aren’t allowed to be the boss over our own bodies, then what can we control? In a time when abortions are next to illegal, overpopulation and a limited resource epidemic, climate change; more women are left without access to birth control?!  When you think about it, they are telling us that we aren’t allowed to decide whether or not we want children, suppressing our libido and keeping us in check. It is a mans world after all. We all better behave. To live in a country whose leaders don’t care about the safety and wellbeing of other people, says a lot about the place. It is clear that according to the current political structure, and perhaps for previous political structures, humanity is expendable.

Recently, I have begun taking self-portraits again. My self-portraits usually obscure my face, blur my features and fall somewhere in-between abstraction and narrative. In talking about gender without actually portraying gender, the conversation becomes about the neutrality of gender itself. Gender roles are learned behaviors, we don’t come out of the womb “knowing how to sew” if we are born with female genitalia. The same goes for people born with male genitalia, the genitals you’re born with don’t determine your gender either. Sometimes the universe gets it wrong. I always attempt to encompass my feminine and masculine energy into my self-portraits, because both are equally important.

In a culture where they tell you that exercising your freedom of speech is unlawful, be loud. Scream if you must, stand up and demand human rights. As a woman, living in a patriarchal society, where men tell me what to do with my body, determine how much money I make, what I should be doing with my life, whether or not I should bear children, get married etc, its important for me be bold, daring and unapologetic.

This is my loud mouth.

Loud Mouth

Posted in Photography, Politics, Self Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Like Water

I did quite a bit of hiking this past summer. My camera and my journal were always present, sometimes I had company and sometimes not. I never thought of myself as a “landscape photographer”, but I’m sure other photographers can attest that being in the presence of nature, its hard not to capture its beauty on camera. It became my meditation, the pressure of telling the story became nonexistent. I was simply documenting the majesty of my surroundings, which I do no matter what. In nature, it was different.

The passing of 2016 got me thinking about water. There has been a lot of drama surrounding water in this past year. It is imperative to our survival here on Earth, and without it we perish. Water is persistent and steady. Its patient and moves at its own pace. It can be fierce and powerful, calming and healing.

Lets all be like water in 2017. Be steady, persistent with our goals; patient and learn from failures and mistakes. Be fierce, use the power we all possess in healthy and effective ways to ignite change and spread positivity. Stand up for whats right, knowing that it won’t be popular. Breathe life into all that you do, and everyone you know. Be love and be light.

Be like water.

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Posted in Landscapes Tagged with: , , , , , , ,

Trying To Fit In

What is this life we live? Consume, throw away, repeat. Stripes are in, spots are out. This lipstick, that haircut. Eyebrow trends are actually real. For what? What is the reward of being so vain and desperately needing to project our best selves into the world, cause god forbid we show our real selves… Then everyone would see the flaws we work so hard to cover up. So, we just try to fit in. Conform to the idea of who we are supposed to be, based on what someone or something else said. That same someone or something, has no reference to who we are personally. Something like a magazine, or the media. Someone like the person who writes for them. And we listen like lambs, being led to slaughter.

This is me trying to fit in.

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Posted in Art, Self Tagged with: , , , , , , ,

Somewhere Between Earth and Sky

Transition by definition is; the process or a period of changing from one state or condition to another. To think of the process in its totality is rather magnificent. I envision it as if we are catapulted off the earth in the most beautiful arc, and when we finally land on our feet, the transformation has taken place and we have evolved. The period of flying, the scary and challenging part, is what fascinates me most. Flying or floating somewhere between Earth and sky, your stomach in knots, doing summersaults as you soar exhilarated and terrified, trying not to look down. Its hard to see clearly when you’re in the middle of your own rebirth, no matter how large or small, yet the view can be stunning, if we stop, take a breath and take notice.

This how I transform.

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Posted in Art, Photography Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The Feeling of Solitude

Greetings fellow fans and readers, I know I know, its been forever. I’ve had quite the adventure since my last post. Since then, I left LA and moved back to Chicago. The drive was lovely, it was mine and mine alone. I spent three days in the car, with nothing but jams and quiet thoughts. I regret not stopping and taking more photographs, but I was under a deadline. I have not shared with you all the work I made while in LA. Some great work has yet to be posted! I have a pretty demanding job these days, which has affected my ability to post on the regular. I hope to find a balance and be able to make time for my work again (for my own sanity) With that said. I share an image I made in my brother’s yard in Glassell Park, a lovely neighborhood in northeast Los Angeles.

I feel more connected to the narrative of this piece now, then ever before. I have spent more time feeling disconnected to the things that have always ignited me. This bubble of work and sleep is like an out of body experience, as if I am floating high above the artistic burner in me, looking down at someone that I used to know well. The solitude doesn’t bother me, its how its spent that does.

For those of you who don’t know, my botanical portraits invoke the narrative of everyday human emotion and the human condition.

This is my feeling of solitude.

 

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Posted in Art, Photography, Plant Life Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,

Longing For Something More

Longing For Something More

Posted in Documentary

Vulnerability

 

embrace it

Vulnerability

 

Posted in Art, Photography Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,

You Are Here

sometimes we have to get

a bit lost

in order to be found

You Are Here

Posted in Art, Photography, Plant Life Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , ,

This LA Downspout

By definition, descending means to, “move or fall downward.” It’s opposite, the antonym; ascending means, “increasing in size or importance” and “sloping or leading upward.” Must we go down in order  to go up? I suppose so, whenever we as people make a sudden change in our lives, its usually because we have some in some way fallen down to some degree and are looking to be uplifted. We move, change jobs, change lovers, make new friends, go to different bars etc. In order to ascend means we will or have fallen down somehow. Furthermore, what separates the strong ones from the rest, when the strong fall down, we see it as an opportunity. The silver lining sings its beautiful song and we get the fuck up, dust it off and keep going.

As I sit here on the edge of the continent where there is no water, looking out over Griffith Park, I can’t help but feel disjointed. I need to remind myself that its worth descending in order to ascend to something higher.

This is my time to self-destruct. I must not be scared.

This is my LA downspout.

 

This LA Downspout

Posted in Art, Photography Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , ,
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