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Photographer of the Week #172: Evelyn Pustka

Evelyn Pustka is an American photographer, working between New Haven, New York, and Houston. She is currently a 2018 MFA candidate at the Yale School of Art. Born in Houston, Evelyn received her BFA from the University of Texas, Austin.

Pustka’s work documents the nuances of human identity and relationships performed as both genuine and culturally informed.

“I narrate the dichotomy and distance between true and imposed identity and the manner in which this creates a multifaceted notion of female identity. I examine these ruptures in identity in my familial and intimate relationships, as well as the everyday milieu of my life”.

Pustka’s images from her project, Glistening Splinters, appear to gesture towards awkward decadence through both the unconventional lighting as well as the subjects often stiff and calculated positions. Though the subjects seem to be in their own home, there is little comfort and stability found in these photographs. Human interactions are presented as bizarre, uneventful and strained. Pustka’s portrayal of her subjects is reminiscent of mannequins surrounded by gaudy abundance, creating an uncanny and fascinating body of work.

In Pustka’s most recent project, Cloud Nine, similar sentiments are suggested through a display of crowded bodies frozen in mid-dance.

“Cloud Nine explores spaces and the resulting social theater of Texas oil wealth. My investigation aims to focus specifically on the duplicitous nature of social decorum in this community and the manner in which life is governed by a strict social regulatory code and yet wealth facilitates a “rules do not apply” mentality”.

To see more of Pustka’s work, go to her website: http://www.evelynpustka.com/

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