Rachel Bee Porter

Having grown up reading a multitude of home and lifestyle magazines, my work confronts the expectations that developed from buying into the alluring photographic fantasies of the pristine and perfect domestic life. I devoured every issue of Martha Stewart Living that I could find. Drawn in by the beautiful eye-catching photographs, I absorbed all of the tips, tricks and how-tos in those pages because I was convinced that I would need them someday.

Using the skills that I learned from years of reading these magazines, I bake elaborate cakes which I then throw into carefully constructed scenes and photograph the aftermath. By appropriating the lush, brightly colored imagery of magazines and perverting it, I explore the aftermath of unfulfilled expectations.

This disillusionment manifests itself in a playful, yet irreverent defiance. I subvert the delicately crafted trompe l’oeils found in commercial and editorial photography by corrupting domestic strategies. Through the intermingling of creation and destruction, I explore the reality beyond the glossy varnish and the destructive consequences of disappointment.

Using a cross-disciplinary approach that combines aspects of performance, sculpture, and painting, I create colorful domestic scenarios that serve as the stage for my actions. I photograph these scenes using a 4×5 camera. Afterwards, I scan the film and create large-scale digital c-prints. My work is an ironic commentary on the picture-perfect world created in the glossy pages of lifestyle magazines and the frustration that ensues from trying to attain it.
Born and raised in central Pennsylvania, Rachel Bee Porter holds an MFA in Photography and Related Media from Parsons The New School for Design, and a BFA in Professional Photographic Illustration from Rochester Institute of Technology. Her work has been exhibited in venues such as the Center for Photography at Woodstock, Texas Women’s University, and Aperture Gallery in New York City. Her work has most recently been seen at the Flash Forward Festival in Boston. Rachel’s work will also be included in the upcoming show, There’s Something Happening Here at Brancolini Grimaldi Gallery in London, England. She has contributed work to several publications, such as Creative Quarterly and Photographer’s Forum. She lives and works in Pittsburgh, PA.

Artist’s Website: rachelbeeporter.com