Ceres, Goddess of Fertility Sacred Grove - Gardens of Bommarzo, Italy ref# 0016_gold_fresco

Fertile Balance      Sacred Grove – Gardens of Bommarzo, Italy      ref# 0016_gold_fresco

Potentiality Sacred Grove - Gardens of Bommarzo, Italy ref# 0072_gold_fresco

Potential    Sacred Grove – Gardens of Bommarzo, Italy            ref# 0072_gold_fresco                                                                            

The Dreamer ref# 7127     Rome, Italy

Amour (French Love Letters) Panoramic Collage Paris, France

Love Letters (Mots d’Amour)    Panoramic Collage       Paris, France

Rapture Paris, France ref# DSCF5881_gold_fresco

Rapture    Paris, France       ref# DSCF5881_gold_fresco

Visualizing Sacred Grove, Gardens of Bommarzo, Italy ref# 0110_gold_fresco

Visionary           Sacred Grove, Gardens of Bommarzo, Italy           ref# 0110_gold_fresc0

Passion Rome, Italy ref# 1517_gold_fresco

Passion       Rome, Italy        ref# 1517_gold_fresco

Time Stands Still            Puglia, Italy       ref# 3689_gold_fresco

Time   (Stands Still)            Puglia, Italy       ref# 3689_gold_fresco

Reflection Venice, Italy 3228_gold_fresco

Reflection       Venice, Italy            ref# 3228_gold_fresco

Naked Wings ref# Z8D7785_gold_fresco

Naked Wings      Rome, Italy        ref# Z8D7785_gold_fresco

Ascension Puglia ref# 3761_gold_fresco

Ascension      Puglia      ref# 3761_gold_fresco

Epiphany, Rome, Italy ref# 7866_gold_fresco

Illumination        Rome, Italy ref# 7866_gold_fresco

The other side of Desire & Beyond is shown in the next portfolio: Facing Buddha

© Diane Epstein, “FRESCO PHOTOGRAPHY” 

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Angels & Goddesses and Human Nature

  • illumination
  • well-being


In this series I am exploring 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, my aim is to capture the splendor of the sacred place, the beauty of decay, and the spirit and richness of the journey.

On a photography journey to Paris, France, the Italian countryside, and Southeast Asia, I 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 my imagery, I contrast the visual cultures and how each approaches the psyche, from desire to bliss, heaven or nirvana.

An recent exhibition of my Fresco Photography, I see "Desire & Beyond" as 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. I see these images reveal a provocative, mischievous presence that takes the imagination to the shadowy depths of an other-worldly reality. The other aspect shown here includes the Christian perspective, which points towards Heaven. These may include relinquishing demons and the indulgence of bodily pleasures -- with Angels and Godesses, 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. My inquiry is one that involves awakening 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. With a background in the field of psychotherapy, I have 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.

--- Diane Epstein