i’m jealous of lisa kokin

Found images, AND thread? Oh, be still my beating heart! California based artist Lisa Kokin is killing me with this work. Here are Lisa’s words about these images, from her Sewn Found Photos series:

Sometimes there are inscriptions on the back (“Susie, 7 years old”) but more often they come to me stripped of all identity. I sit in my studio and speculate about the nature of the photographed people’s lives. I will, of course, never know the truth, so I feel it is my job to give them new lives and rescue them from the obscurity they would be headed for were it not for me, humble servant of the arts. I try to invent an altogether different identity for them but of course, in the final analysis these works are more about me than any of the hundreds of anonymous individuals who appear in my work.

I am intrigued with other people’s photographic recording of their lives both for the generic quality they possess — the family and social rituals, studio portraits, vacation shots — and for the feeling of sadness and nostalgia that acquiring other people’s memories provokes in me. I feel somehow that it should be illegal to own them, yet since they are for sale it might as well be me who buys them.

… and this is literally only a fraction of her portfolio. Just wait til you see what she does with old books!

{I found the first image in the post on Pinterest, via Artsy Forager}

comments (9)

  1. Artsy Forager /// 01.04.2013 /// 10:06am

    Isn’t her work incredible?! I especially love the school portraits, such an interesting way of paying homage to those little skeletons we all have in our closets.. 😉

    Thanks for the shout-out!

  2. Hagar /// 01.05.2013 /// 3:09am

    Love it! beautiful, inspiring work…

  3. Zia Daugherty /// 01.05.2013 /// 7:21am

    Wow. I really love her artist statement. What a beautiful idea. : )

  4. Ana /// 01.05.2013 /// 9:07am

    Amazing work. I love the mix of something so innately feminine, such as sewing with photography.

  5. agnes szucs / iiiinspired /// 01.06.2013 /// 6:41am

    somewhat eery but very spectacular! i really love the one that looks like a curtain and the tower sewn of little cards…


  6. Sarolta /// 01.06.2013 /// 7:31am

    This is amazing!!! Should try this with old family pictures.

  7. Candice /// 04.12.2013 /// 2:20pm

    I am at a loss for words.
    I’ll try though. Inspirational. Heartfelt. Awed. Lovely.

  8. Gayleen /// 10.20.2014 /// 5:15am

    Your creations are wonderful. I love the idea that you have given rebirth to these people in your interesting form of art. It’s inspired me to do a family oriented one of these from our old family photos. I think my gift (if I can do it even close to yours) will be the coveted one of the season. Thank you & keep sharing with us who have creative block at times.

  9. Martha /// 07.21.2017 /// 8:44am

    Amazing but how do you keep the threads and your machine from becoming gnarled messes? That to me is the magic !

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