October-November 2014



Ayanna Muata


A R T I S T ’ S S T A T E M E N T

My name is Ayanna Muata (aka Waning Moon Photography), and I am a Minneapolis based photography artist originally from Chicago.

Photographic History:
I bought my first digital camera about a decade ago, and I’ve been creating digital photographic images for roughly the last 10 years, with the bulk of my main portfolio being produced only in the last 4-5. I taught myself how to use my camera and how to manipulate digital images using specific photo editing software by using various online and print resources, by connecting with others in the field, and by trial and error.

The Work:
My work largely consists of a combination of digital collages, conceptual art photos, custom and standard portraiture, memes, and tableau.

Content and structure:
Since late 2011 I’ve been working more and more with black and white and muted color images, often with wide variations in textures, contrast and tone. I’m very drawn to the energy and mood of the 1800s, the Harlem Renaissance, and the general décor and music of the early 1900s. As a result, more often than not there is some kind of tie to a previous time period which is either apparent or simply gently implied, although there are still significant sections of my work which lend more toward a more “contemporary” aesthetic.

Most recently, my focus has been on generating images that can either stand-alone or are a part of a multi piece series, often a sort of tableau (whether collaged together or shot directly) that tell bits and pieces of a story, however obscure. Sometimes the mood is more serious. Other times more satirical. Although the images are non-linear in their approach, the idea is to create something that is rather fluid in experience, whether one chooses to go one direction with it or another. In that way they can be taken in on a broader emotional spectrum, and one is admittedly often sometimes left with more questions than answers.

Some describe my work as beautiful, dark, confusing, and even disturbing at times. But it always evokes some emotion. The images are dense and packed with symbolism. Thought provoking, a kind of visual meditation. Often depicting some kind of painful experience, but the idea behind it is not to bring people down, but rather to find healing in the idea that one can take a difficult life experience and turn it into something creative that others can connect with in their own unique way, hopefully fostering a kind of “emotional solidarity” in the acknowledgement of the diversity and complexity of our collective human experience.

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