Heidi Lender’s Superb ‘Once Upon’ Weekly Photo Project


The theme of this former fashion editor and reporter’s weekly photo assignment, almost seems deceptively simple and tepid at first -  “Stand on a bench. Make sure it’s Monday. Wear something pretty.” But one glance at the photographs, and we are left stunned at the brilliance of it all. Diverse locations, colorful backdrops, interesting people, and not to mention her effortless and impeccable sense of style, all come together to create one terrific art project.

I abandoned the world of words and appearances and moved to India nine years ago to study yoga and dive into the inner universe. My past and paths now collide in this project – personal façade vs. private interior.

Wardrobes and surrounding spaces are representations and reflections of who we are or who we purport to be. We explore, experiment and express the different aspects that are the ingredients of our individual, whether we are aware of it or not. Be it wild or controlled, we inevitably illustrate a part of ourselves.

The self-portrait series “Once Upon” whimsically plays upon this illustration. With a platform on which to stand, I investigate the host of personalities within, the layers that make up the self, the characters we hide, show, accept and reject, and the role that fashion and design play in molding those characters. My closet is colorful, a menagerie of clothes and accessories amassed on my journeys; though a collection untouched, unworn. Here, it has place and purpose. Headless self-portraits, piled with textures, lend a sense of objectivity, obscurity and freedom from identification.

More images after the jump.




Once Upon, by Heidi Lender.