In the spring of my freshman year in high school my father was murdered. It was all over the local news. A man named Sammy Davis, the handy man for my father’s apartment buildings, had stabbed him in the back repeatedly. The police theorized that Sammy and my father had fought about money. Sammy stabbed him, and then set him on fire using gasoline.
In my series Snapshot, I portray myself hung, an allusion to my father’s murdered body. This series uses family snapshots as its source material. I wanted to picture myself as an adult with the power to leave my psychological scars of my childhood. I decided I would do this by digitally placing my adult self into these images, flying over my family’s heads, departing from my own history. I selected photographs in which I was not present, digitally placing my legs and feet hovering near the ceiling of each room. I first thought the initial images depicted the illusion of my body floating above the scene. I eventually realized that what I had actually done was to picture myself as a corpse, hanging from the ceiling.
Andrea Pickens (Philadelphia, PA) received her BFA in Photography from the Ohio State University, 1998 and her MFA in Art Photography from Syracuse University, 2003. Pickens’ photographic, video, and installation work has been exhibited internationally and appears in several collections. She is currently an instructor at the Newark Arts Alliance (Newark, DE) and a project manager at Mitchell Lane Publishers.