Bio: I am an independent self-portrait photo and video artist. Darkness, sexuality, and the grotesque are recurring themes in my work, but the underlying message is one of love. I look for something strange, or something shadowy and mysterious, or something “wrong” or “unlovable” in myself or in the world, and I accept it, embrace it, and find its inherent beauty and appeal. My hope is that my work inspires a similar process in the hearts and minds of my audience. We all need more love.
About the work: The images featured here are from a larger photo-set entitled “Un-Sexy” (published on my patreon page: www.patreon.com/scinderscythe). I was grieving the loss of a significant love relationship. I had stopped exercising. I had lost control of a neurosis I continually fight in which I compulsively pick at my skin. In an attempt to make myself feel better I had chopped off all my hair and had surprised myself by absolutely hating the change. I felt repulsive, rejected, unlovable. Getting in front of the camera was the last thing I wanted to do. I shot the set in 40 minutes and didn’t expect to get anything good. I surprised myself again. I used more shots than I rejected. And rather than editing out the “imperfections” that had been inhibiting me, I highlighted them. I sharpened flawed skin rather than digitally healing it. I deepened shadows, aging and bringing out the asymmetry in my face. And in defying conventions of beauty, I found something sexier than sexy. A sexiness that is wholly mine rather than being tailor-made for the male gaze (although the first image intentionally caricatures a more conventional, sexy-for-the-male-gaze pose).
My own struggles with the patriarchy underline the entire process. The intensified grief at losing a good man when good men are so rare. The conditioned self-blame translating into disgust at my own appearance and inhibition in my work. The internalized societal pressures to be beautiful and sexy and pure and raunchy and brilliant and sweet to have any worth at all. And the deeply felt satisfaction at pushing through the grief, rejecting those pressures and blame, and finding perfection in imperfection, and sexy in un-sexy.
My work can be found at www.scinderscythe.xyz, www.patreon.com/scinderscythe, and on Instagram @ scinderscythe