Mikey Foster Estes

Mikey Foster Estes

Afterimages (2021)

This series consists of digital photographs and note entries that chronicle the experience of loss. Made between November 2019 and the present, the images depict daily scenes within the family home as it’s changed in ways both visible and felt. Many of the images are casually made and forgotten about, only to resurface as the record of something no longer there. The fragments of text, simultaneously revealing and opaque, loosely ground the visual in personal narrative and metaphor. In documenting the transformation of presence into absence, the work’s content and internal logic is prone to fluctuation and renewal, valuing emotion over resolution.

The work is an ongoing collection of images and text that will exist in different iterations over time. The first iteration of this work was completed in April 2021 and presented the content more or less chronologically. In September 2021, a second iteration was produced for “Memento Mori: Memento Vivere,” a group exhibition at Northlight Gallery focused on photography’s relationship to death. 

“Beaver’s Show” is an installation of my late father’s artwork. Both a craftsman and retired carpenter, Beaver discovered painting later in life while I was in art school. This accumulation of his self-taught oeuvre, in which landscape and natural imagery figure prominently, are displayed directly across from my photographs made in the family home. This mirroring is repeated in “Daddy’s Boy,” a video I made as a student in 2013. The split screen video follows my father and I as we each build a side of a small piece of furniture. The action is playfully subverted by the introduction of high heel shoes, a gesture drawing contrast to gendered expectations of masculine identities. Both sides of the stand are assembled and finished differently, and the video concludes with the image of the two halves coming together.

Photos: Josh Loeser

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