For over a decade, Kalliope Amorphous has explored dreamlike and surreal narratives through a diverse portfolio of fine art, portraiture, experimental photography, and conceptual art. Whether excavating the contents of her own subconscious in self-portraiture, documenting the people and environment around her, or experimenting with unique conceptual processes, Amorphous takes the viewer to a place where alienation and fragility are offset by moments of beauty.
A self-taught photographer, Amorphous creates her own alternative methodologies using handmade and alternative lighting as well as experimenting with textiles, surfaces, mirrors, and in-camera distortion techniques. Much of Amorphous’s work uses reflections, blur, mirrors, and multiple exposure to lead the viewer through the artist’s favorite themes — identity, mortality, time, and consciousness.
Born in Providence, Rhode Island, Amorphous later moved to New York City, where she experimented with modeling, acting, and performance poetry. In a 2008 interview with art critic Brian Sherwin, she cited her early social involvement in the New York City theater and cabaret scenes as influences in her early photographic work.
A self-taught photographer, Amorphous began working exclusively with self-portrait photography while living in Rhode Island in 2007. Her early self-portraits focused on character studies, costuming, and makeup.
Amorphous’ 2009 Resurrecting Ophelia series of self-portraits cast her as the fictional character Ophelia. Like much of her later work, the series relied on in-camera effect with Amorphous positioned behind glass, acrylic, and textiles. The series was exhibited in Amorphous’ hometown in a solo exhibition at the Community College of Rhode Island and appeared in print in the premier issues of Dark Beauty magazine and The Omen Magazine.
Amorphous’s recent projects use distortion mirror boards created with reflective material. In her series Glass Houses, she appears in a series of Surreal and distorted self-portraits which look as if they were submerged in water. Of the series, Lancia TrendVisions wrote: “The mirror is just a surface. Exactly like the photographs that portray it. They cannot depict what is hidden under their patina: the distortions of our fears, the destructuring push of our desires. But photographer Kalliope Amorphous searches for just that impalpable spirit.” In her distorted self-portraits, Amorphous explores what she calls “the fluid nature of identity”.
In addition to self-portraits, Amorphous began working with glitch art in 2013. In 2014, she completed a series of experimental photographs of performance artist Marina Abramovic. Amorphous appears opposite Matthew Avedon in the music video Savage Way to Live for the Brooklyn-based band Relations.
Kalliope has received worldwide recognition for her work in creative and conceptual photography. Her photographs have been widely published and exhibited throughout the United States and internationally and her photographs are included in private collections worldwide including Spain, Romania, Germany, Holland, India, Russia, and the United States. She currently divides her time between Providence, Rhode Island and New York City.
“In Glass Houses, I capture split-second deconstructions of my own reflection by manipulating flexible mirror boards made from polyester film. The light and color sensitivity of the surface is similar to water, creating a reflection which passes through countless configurations in a fraction of a second.In this project, I confront questions of self-image and the ways in which our interior worlds conflict with our exterior form. How does the image that we present to the world differ from what we see when we look in the mirror? If our desires, fears, secrets and vulnerabilities were manifested physically, what might they look like? The process of working with these mirrors acts like a screen for my subconscious mind, often answering questions and revealing deeper aspects of my hopes, fears, and memories in the resulting image. I began this series in 2012 and will continue working with this process in the future, because it has been my favorite experimental process.” – Kalliope Amorphous
See Kalliope’s Interview and Introductory Spread in the August 2019 Issue of TOROSIETE Magazine.