The other side of Desire & Beyond is shown in the next portfolio: Facing Buddha
© Diane Epstein, “FRESCO PHOTOGRAPHY” ™
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Phantoms, Angels, & Goddesses
- Sacred Grove
FACING OUR PSYCHE THROUGH PHANTOMS, ANGELS, GODDESSES AND THE BUDDHA
Diane Epstein is an innovative fine art photographer and the pioneer of Fresco Photography. She addresses the duality between the body and the mind, exploring her own vision of how divergent cultures and individuals deal with the issue of desire -- whether it be the yearning to unite with the divine, the desire to connect with a loved one -- or the relinquishing of desire. Intertwining multiple exposures of statues, architecture, natural scenes and the human figure, she captures the splendor of the sacred place, the beauty of decay, and the spirit and richness of the journey.
Epstein has lived in Rome for the past 20 years, transforming her professional focus from therapist to artist. With a background in the field of psychotherapy, she has been aware of the challenge of adapting oneself to a mindful path and how easy one can fall into the traps of the modern world -- such as dissatisfaction, over consumption, or rejection of our bodies and the aging process.
On a recent photography journey to Paris, France, the Italian countryside, and Southeast Asia, Epstein was inspired to create a body of work and bring to light the symbolism of the Eastern culture, juxtaposing it with the Western perspective. In her imagery, she contrasts the visual cultures and how each approaches the psyche, from desire to bliss, heaven or nirvana.
Epstein’s exhibition, Desire & Beyond is a triad. The first of this photographic triad faces our own psyche, with images from the nude figure in its natural grace to the power of the mammoth, supernatural creature, representing the imagination as larger-than-life, and its wild-like nature. This less trodden path is one that propels us to face our fears, embrace our passions, and "just set the heart free." With the human figure, as well as the gigantic and imposing ones, often their gaze is obscured, that suggests a razing of the foundation of reality that embody an unnerving instability, as in nature. They bring a provocative, mischievous presence that takes the imagination to the shadowy depths of a metaphysical, other-worldly reality.
The other aspect shown here includes the Christian perspective, which points towards Heaven. These may include relinquishing our demons and the indulgence of bodily pleasures -- letting ourselves be led by Angels and God, where the choice is clear and simple, with an unambiguous outcome.
The third aspect, shown in the next portfolio, Facing Buddha, has an orientation that focuses on detaching the hold of the mind -- “free from all desire, all attachment and all social conditioning." Buddhism teaches that following the Noble Eightfold Path will lead to the cessation of suffering which is the way to reach enlightenment.
The photographer’s aim is to awaken unconscious longings and truths, while accepting the imperfections that come from the passage of time, so that viewers can internalize the dichotomy of body and mind and find the right balance for themselves. This duality can be qualified as central to the human condition -- the challenges we face between relishing our senses while acting in accordance with who we want to be. Epstein reveals this internal conflict by visually exploring these paths -- the seduction/ relinquishment of desire, confronting our demons/ easing our mind, and the journey toward transcendence, whether facing Buddha, God, Goddess, Nature or our own psyches.