Brooke Shaden, my new favorite artist

by Brooke Shaden
by Brooke Shaden

As I riffled through posts on Flavorwire this morning, I came across one that features images by Brooke Shaden. The post’s title, “Surreal Photos of Women Dressed in Books, Butterflies, and Paper Planes,” made me curious. What could Flavorwire mean by women dressed in books and paper planes? I clicked on the link and was immediately fascinated by its contents. The post contained amazing photos by Brooke Shaden, an art photographer who’s based in Los Angeles. I fell in love with Shaden’s style as I clicked through the photos. Some are dark and seem to be a still from a scary movie but others I found to be dreamy. Either way, I love her stuff.

This piqued my interest so I googled her and discovered her website. Even more of her work is posted there so I advise all who read this to visit it. Her photos will sweep you away and make you want to visit the places that the women are in. The women seem to exist on a plane that is between reality and the imaginary. According to Shaden’s website, she is a self-portrait artists and “she attempts to place herself within worlds she wishes we could live in, where secrets float out in the open, where the impossible becomes possible.”

The photo above is one of my favorites from the Flavorwire post. It is of a woman in a dress made of books. Visit both websites and enjoy!

Scandalized Thoughts

Finally, I’ve gotten through season two of Scandal, the T.V. show everyone’s talking about. Scandal first aired in 2012 with my girl Kerry Washington as the star—Olivia Pope. The show is a political thriller and is said to be based on Judy Smith, a crisis manager and former press aide for the George Bush Administration. Olivia Pope, like Smith, is a crisis manager, a.k.a “fixer,” for those who find themselves in deep shit—a scandal. She is also in love with the President of the United States, Fitzgerald Grant, and runs off to have an affair with him every now and then. She too was a press aide and she worked on the President’s election campaign back in the day (that’s when they met).

Scandal is an addictive show that keeps you on the edge of your seat throughout. At the end of each episode, you anxiously await the next one to air. This is why I had to wait until the end of the season to catch up. I watched the first season on Netflix. It was good and I was interested because it’s based in Washington, D.C., though we hardly see the characters in any credible place in D.C. (The Union Station metro didn’t look like the one in D.C.) We just know it is D.C. because of the snapshot photos used to transition the scenes. I know the photographer has his work cut out. I hope he enjoys it. Though I liked season 1, it wasn’t enough to pull me and make me want to revisit the show for a second season. I wasn’t planning to watch but word-of-mouth (i.e. Facebook and Twitter) bit me in the butt and made me peek at the first episode of season 2. I was hooked.

I decided to try to catch up so I could participate in the conversations flowing on my Facebook TL about the show. Things went great until a few episodes before the end of season 2. I then began to become troubled by the show, or rather viewers’ comments. From the conversations I’ve peeked in on, everyone seemed to revere Olivia Pope even her staff, which blindly follows her for a while. Of course, it’s not entirely the viewers’ fault for revering Pope. She has qualities that many would love to possess—independent, confident, smart, etc. Also, the show does a great job of making the viewer sympathize with Pope and hold her in a positive light no matter what she does; after all, she always seem to have a good reason for her actions. For example, Pope causes a rift in her friend’s (Abby) relationship but that was done for an apparently good reason. Abby could not be with the David Rosen, the district attorney, because she was leaking valuable information that would have ousted the Defiance incident that Pope and her conspirators were trying to keep hidden. Even though this bad act was done to cover another bad act – Defiance – Pope is still casted in a white light because she didn’t want to go ahead with the Defiance incident (which we learn later); PLUS, she saved Lindsay Dwyer (a.k.a. Quinn Perkins) so really, she shouldn’t be blamed.

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