Working with mirrors, perspectives, vegetables, fruit, structure and parts of the human body, Heather Rasmussen creates unique and absurd universes. You can´t help but be intrigued by the details and vivid colors in the pictures, wondering what the thought behind the image is. So we asked her about just that.
How is your process towards creating these pieces?
I take a very experimental and organic approach to making photographs in the studio. I normally have a general visual idea of the photograph I want to make, whether it be on a certain backdrop with a patterned chair, and then while I'm photographing I add and remove objects, including my own body. The objects in my studio become a cast of characters, playing different roles in different photographs, videos and sculptures. I like the repetition of objects at varied scales and sizes. I'm interested in showing movement as well, and thus have made a few videos of some of the photo shoots that include my body.
Fruits/vegetables are a returning objects in your images, why has it become a part of your art?
I've always been interested in gardening, and first started photographing odd looking lemons from a tree at my house. At the same time, I had started photographing a cast of my pointed foot (that I made while in college in a sculpture class and had kept around the studio for many years). After that I remember seeing a giant daikon radish at the farmers market here in Los Angeles that looked like two feet pointed and wrapped around each other. I made a photograph of my feet with the radish in the studio, and since then have been seeing large/oversized vegetables as stand-ins for parts of my body, and even metaphors for the fragility of bodies in general.
”... After that I remember seeing a giant daikon radish at the farmers market here in Los Angeles that looked like two feet pointed and wrapped around each other. I made a photograph of my feet with the radish in the studio ...”
What is your background?
I grew up dancing classical ballet, and my dream was to dance professionally for the New York City Ballet. Unfortunately this did not happen, and I ended up at the University of California, Irvine. There I discovered that both dance and art could be studied together, but when I found photography, it took all my attention and I quit dancing. After attending graduate school at CalArts for Photography, I made very different photographs than I do now - of brightly colored folded paper, resembling shipping container accidents. Around 2013, I decided to return to ballet dancing, mostly because I wanted to make sculptures of my legs. This decision also helped me fall back in love with dance, something I feel that goes hand in hand with my photographic practice: during ballet class I am keeping my body in shape and training so that I can come in the studio and make photographs using my body as a tool.