SAM THE BUTCHER contemporary art

Artist Statement


Alexa Stevens PhotoI have very recently discovered my love for photography after I started taking photo classes at Branson. Photography is important to me for two reasons - its ability to document and its ability to present an opinion. Photos don’t only document events, but also emotions, secrets, lifetimes, achievements, etc. As a photographer, I love the freedom of being able to photograph something and have a distinct message come through the photo, articulated visually. I also love that you can photograph one thing 500 different ways.

Currently, I print my photos in a darkroom, on fiber-based, 8x10 matte paper, in black in white. I struggled with film vs. digital for a long time, but I settled on the fact that I much prefer the darkroom to Photoshop. In darkroom printing, everything is based on how you want to print it. The aperture, time, filter, dodging, and burning decisions are all up to you and what message you want your photo to convey. While it is true that you can manipulate a photo any way you want digitally, there’s a certain enigmatic process when using the darkroom. For me, it’s much more rewarding to slave away in the darkroom for hours, and then create with the perfect print! The aperture, time, filter, dodging, and burning decisions are all up to you and the message you want your photo to convey.

I am interested in taking pictures that challenge stereotypes and most of my inspiration comes from questioning cultural norms. In the Barbie Series, I question the stereotypes of women as portrayed by Barbie. I question and play with gender stereotypes, using Barbie to show the negative affects of a patriarchal society. Barbie represents the unachievable dream for many women: to be the perfect wife, mother and homemaker. I wanted to try and show the downside of that and how it can drive women to their destruction.