In this showcase series we feature the conceptual photography of Corey Mullaney.
We asked Corey how he got started in photography?
I was always attracted to the art of performance, and my initial ambitions were aimed at theatre, because I absolutely adored the ability to express myself through various personas. I was quite a late starter in photography, and at first it was something I was extremely uninterested in, but my obsession with dramatics soon blossomed into this strange yet wonderful ability to translate my feelings through constructed and conceptual narratives.
My influences are drawn from all different forms of creativity, particularly pop culture, but I love anything from Ben Zank’s minimalistic nudes to David LaChapelle’s chaotic high fashion. I connect so intimately with the devotion to art and the way that an individual will give their soul entirely to the purpose of photographic expression.
Can you tell us more about this Bloodshot series?
I have struggled to comprehend the meaning and destiny of my imaginative persona for a long time, but I’ve always known that the photographs I create are deeply nostalgic sentiments. It is only now that I realise how these real memories and ideas are my therapeutic and artistic ways of dealing with some of the challenges in my life.
I want the audience to gaze through my BLOODSHOT eye as I craft some of the most personal and heartfelt pieces that are sewn together through the themes of fashion and theatricality. Though my visual constructions are extreme, they are built upon the hyperbolic foundations of my difficulties as an adolescent, and I feel that, without this ability to artistically express myself, I could not exist.
My self-portraiture however, is not created solely as a statement of deliberate expression; it also generates subconscious reflections which have led to an affiliation and familiarity with the nature of my personality. Fears are the reoccurring symbol in my conceptual work and I feel that they have quite delicately demonstrated a weakness in my creative reality. Some images in particular tackle the fear of an artistic lapse, a fear of the darkness, a fear of sexuality or sexualisation and a fear of both family and intimate relationships breaking down.
What equipment do you use for your this series?
I’ve always lived under the notion that photographic equipment is not essential to the creation of something beautiful. In fact almost half of BLOODSHOT was produced with a compact camera and the built-in flash. I had to strive for understanding and knowledge in the area of technology and I have to admit that I have since fallen in love with the use of studio lighting.
My camera eventually evolved into a Nikon D3200 with a standard 18-55mm lens, but I am still unashamed to confess that I am a complete novice and I cannot fully appreciate the power in my hands. In terms of photography, people are ALWAYS curious as to how I manage to capture the self-portraits, and it’s honestly one of the most strenuous and time-consuming tasks. The answer is simple though, I use a remote activated shutter, but that obviously comes with a vast amount of disadvantages.
I can confidently disclose that I have put my blood sweat and tears into the self-portraits throughout BLOODSHOT. Another question I get asked a lot is where my skills in Photoshop have come from, and it’s simply down to practise, I’ve been using the software since I was very young because I used to be into animation and digital art. I can spend anywhere between a few hours and a few days editing work now, but my skills in manipulation are always steadily growing.
Do you have any new series planned for the near future?
This is probably the most daunting question of the bunch. I spent three years constructing BLOODSHOT and I had such a hard time bringing the production to an end. I got to a point when I was doing my best work and I just didn’t want to stop. I recently had to build an exhibition from the ground up, and I decided that this presented itself as the perfect opportunity to expose all of my hard work. It turns out that I couldn’t have timed it better and people were absolutely infatuated with the finished product.
I am already producing concepts for the following photo book; all I can divulge is that the work seems to be mainly based around my difficulties as a child. BLOODSHOT has given me the ability to reflect on things with a psychological eye, but my main wish is that the audience can find something within the narratives that they can relate to.
Photophique has express permission to publish these images and Corey Mullaney retains full copyright to all photographs featured in this showcase series.