Few images can reveal more about an artist's style than a self portrait. Rachel Lincoln's first important Self-Portrait, taken while she was a sophomore at American University in Washington, DC, combines subtlety, independence, dominance, and femininity, the hallmarks of her work.
In this image, the artist stands dominant, powerful, confident. And yet, this is done without changing the features of the artist. She wears a simple, girlish dress. The camera is placed at a low angle, putting the subject in a dominant light. However, the angle is not so low that it makes the subject look taller. The artist embraces her own smallness and femininity, while declaring her dominance.
While the photograph may seem effortless, Rachel Lincoln took dozens of versions before getting the image she wanted. In addition to the overall look, the image contains several hidden symbols, many of which indicate the fiery creativity which drives an artist. The white cord of the headphones creates a lightning bolt across the blue dress, a symbol of both power and of creative inspiration. In the background, we see what looks like a fiery torch. The lamps below it seem to be smoking; at the same time, in the nighttime surroundings, they are reminiscent of the moon, a classic symbol of femininity. The combination of fire and femininity continues with the lamps on the right side of the image. They identical lamps seem to be on an upwards trajectory, much like what one might see in a photograph of anti-aircraft fire.
This self portrait is a sharp contrast to Rachel Lincoln's 2014 self portrait entitled "Selfie," in which she approaches the art of the self portrait with deliberate contrast to the selfie trend.
Here we see two strawberries standing together, and looking at a third strawberry, that is in dramatically worse shape. This photograph is called “Car Accident”, since it seems as if the two healthy strawberries are spectating at the victim of a car accident.
This photograph juxtaposes images of health, the whole strawberries, with an image of decay, the moldy strawberry. The viewer must come to the conclusion that the strawberries were purchased at the same time, and may have been in the same box. Further, the two healthy strawberries must themselves meet their doom in the near future; they are, after all, food. Much like Damien Hirst’s “The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living,” Rachel Lincoln’s “Car Accident” gently challenges the universal human inability to accept our own mortality.
At first glance, this image appears to be simply an image of a tuft of grass in the setting sun. A moment later, it seems transformed into a skeletal claw.
This image casts an usettling feeling on this potentially pastoral scene that naturally extends to all pastoral scenes. As dusk approaches, we imagine not just one tuft of grass, but many tufts of grass, transformed into claws.
This image is entitled "Claw(s)", with the "s" in parentheses.
Clomp Clomp Clomp
In this photograph, still objects, in this case chocolate truffles, are imbued with a sense of motion. The chocolates seem to advance toward the viewer like the footfalls of an advancing T-Rex. This photograph is called “Clomp, Clomp, Clomp,” to mimic the sound of the footfalls of an approaching giant predator.
Like many of Rachel Lincoln’s other photographs, this photograph has a second layer of meaning. As any chocolate addict knows, chocolate does have its own ways of pursuing you.
Flippin' the Bird
Rachel Lincoln’s photographs often display an irreverent sense of humor combined with wordplay. This photograph shows two small wedding party favors. One, a bird, is flipped sideways. The other, a wedding cake, stands next to it, still and seemingly dominant.
However, there’s more to this picture. The flipped bird, is, in a manner of speaking, flipping the bird at the wedding cake. The wing looks like a middle finger, directed rudely at the cake, a symbol of both marital bliss and wedding expense.
This irreverent image, entitled Flippin’ the Bird, is understandably popular, especially around Valentine’s day.
Man and His Shadow
This image, Man and His Shadow, later became part of the cover of the groundbreaking novel, And Then Run, by Eric Hublot.
We first see a male subject in profile. To the right there is a dark profile of another face, what looks like an older, overweight man, reminiscent of Alfred Hitchcock.
And then, just when the photograph seems to have revealed all of its secrets, we see there is yet another shadow. In this case, it is a shadowy figure, farther in the distance.
This mysterious, shadowy photograph has quite a few other hidden elements. Follow the link in the description to hear more of its story!