Mikey Foster Estes

Mikey Foster Estes

In reference to “Mama” by the Spice Girls, who I had the pleasure of seeing live with my father in 1997, Me loving you/You loving me (2022) is an exhibition that reflects on loss and memorialization. Somber and elegaic in tone, the works balance the intimate and personal with the universal.

Portraits of my mother Althea that I made as a teenager are displayed as illuminated transparencies. Shot on cross-processed slide film, the images have a dreamlike or ghostly quality. In “Pool,” assorted river rocks from the backyard, originally collected by my father, are used as a substrate for cyanotypes. 

Althea’s tongue-in-cheek rule about tattoos (it better be on your butt and say MOM), is the premise for the titular black-and-white 16mm film. The film combines footage of my tattoo adapted from her handwriting with a sequence of moving still lives made inside the family home. Layered atop is a textural soundscape that combines manipulated audio from the song with field recordings, spoken text, and voicemails.

Photos: Josh Loeser

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