Audrey GretzAudrey Gretz is a film photographer and collage artist living in Tokyo, Japan. She grew up in North Carolina and graduated from UNC Charlotte before becoming an English teacher abroad. She is always curious about the relationships between gender, identity, and culture and is constantly exploring the emotional connectivities that art provides. She works mainly with film photography and collage, because they allow her to more clearly express herself, without the anxieties of speaking. She one day aspires to own a black cat named Jiji and a messy little art studio of her own.
“I grew up in the 'American South', and over time I began to see more and more how that played a crucial role in the juxtaposed, fantastical realms that I often imagine when creating photographs. I find myself creating worlds where the things we come to understand as “opposites” in our adult life are placed alongside one another. This stance of naive youth makes the world seem so much more flexible than what we are taught—especially as a young girl. Engrained within everyday systems such as school dress codes and motherly advice lies the message that our bodies are not just our own, that they also belong to the eyes that are constantly evaluating them. Growing up in an environment like this planted an anxiety within me that I try to both express and escape through my work. Learning the range of our own emotions forces us to face the falsity of the flat images we grow up seeing. Girls are sad and happy, lost and found, creepy but cute, out of place but also somehow perfectly balanced; And everything in between. I hope these images would encourage viewers to think more openly on topics such as gender, anxiety, and the rigid nature of dualistic categories.”
Support Audrey Gretz by ordering the Mixed Media Sweatshirt and the “Hidden” poster. Check out more of her work here.
Photos by Audrey Gretz, 2019