Artist: Chris Cournoyer
Exhibition: Inner Demons
Gallery: CSULB School of Arts, Dr. Maxine Merlino Gallery
About the Artist
Chris Cournoyer is an undergraduate student from the University of Central Florida. Due to the exchange of photographs from CSULB to the University of Central Florida I was unable to obtain information about the author. Nevertheless, I did gain information from and about the coordinator Nicole Goudarzian. Nicole explained that the way in which the photographs are chosen is by a jury that is present at the University of Central Florida. The best photographs are then sent out to different universities. In this case Nicole specifically chose the photographs presented in the Merlino Gallery. Nicole explained that there are more photographs that were sent from the University of Central Florida but they are placed in a different location at CSULB. She explains that the artists sends a statement along with the photographs that helps viewers understand the purpose of their work.
Nicole is a surrealist photographer. Nicole’s passion is to take photos of images that seem to demonstrate an illusion or look dreamy.
The image portrays a shirtless male who has two faces. The males face is serious looking straight forward not showing any facial expressions. In one of the faces the male has black eyeballs. On the other side which is the back of the male, the man’s face is normal. In the image there are no out of the ordinary shades that would drive someone’s eyes, however seeing two faces makes you wonder what the artist intentions were when photographing this male.
In the artist statement, the artist’s intention of the photo is to demonstrate the hardship that people with psychological disorder suffer from. Since most people with mental disorders claim hearing voices inside of them, the artist portrays a man with two faces. The artist illustrates the uncontrollable side (demon side) and the side of where the man looks perfectly fine. In Cournoyer’s statement he also mentions how we “normal” people have demons inside of us. Those demons drive us to do bad things which then affect our personality and how we react to those around us.
Synthesis/ My Experience
After seeing all the photographs on the wall the one that caught my eyes the most was the Inner Demons photograph. I found it amazing how the male was illustrated with two faces. My initial thought was that the photograph was intended to show how people could be deceiving. However, as I looked more into the photograph I noticed that one of the faces had black eyeballs which to me means evil. When I read the artist statement I understood the meaning for why the artist used black eyes and the two faces. I thought it was amazing how the photographer thought of such good idea. I was astonished by how people with psychological disorders such as schizophrenia hear voices and many of them don’t know how to deal with them. This photograph made me realize how many of us may ignore people who suffer from these disorders but it is because none of us know how those people may be feeling. However, with this photograph I feel like I can see the struggle those people may have, how they may be struggling to try to be normal while the other side does not allow them to be.