Now, She Is

Exhibit Date: May 24th to June3rd

Pineapple Lab presents Now, She Is, an exhibition featuring the photography of Sara Black. With Now, She Is, Sara accentuates and emphasizes the nude female subject and reclaims its previously challenged, but inherent power in front of the camera.

Photography—and by extension, the camera—has long been intertwined with violence. Venerable texts by Susan Sontag (On Photography) and Roland Barthes (Camera Lucida: Reflections on Photography) have called out the photograph’s offenses against both subject and viewer. “There is an aggression implicit in every use of the camera,” wrote Sontag, echoed several years later by Barthes, who, toward the end of his treatise, said that the photograph is a “counter-memory” that “fills the sight by force.”

Having been on either side of the lens, Sara Black has both yielded to a camera’s power and wielded it: first as an accidental model who was offered jobs during her photography apprenticeship; then as a portraitist behind indelible images of women, famous and anonymous, and as a fashion-and-beauty photographer whose work has graced leading glossy magazines and some of the country’s most biggest advertising campaigns.

This exhibition, titled Now, She Is, adds another facet to her established career. Composed of female nudes with obscured or cropped faces, Now, She Is, is Black’s contribution to remapping the power relations of photography.

“I wanted to depict women with a feminine eye, and remove any of the sexual tension that exists from the male gaze. To remove guilt and shame from the experience of a woman being photographed in the nude, as well as removing guilt and shame from the person viewing the nude. Not to objectify the female body but just to portray it as beautiful,” says Black.

Works will be available for viewing starting May 24, 2018 to June 3, 2018. Pineapple Lab Gallery at 6053 R. Palma Street, Barangay Poblacion, Makati City. Operating hours are 11am to 6pm from Tuesdays through Sundays.

About the Artist

Sara Black was born and raised in Manila, Philippines. Upon finishing her Communication Arts degree at Ateneo de Manila University, she jumped into her first job working at a photography studio as an assistant. While steadily learning about the craft, she was pulled on to the other side of the lens as a model — a happy accident to which she credits her better understanding of her subjects, a factor so crucial in all kinds of portraiture.

In her 15 years in the industry, Sara has since photographed some of the most high profile celebrities and members of society in the Philippines. She is known as the country’s leading beauty photographer having repeatedly collaborated with clients such as Avon, Nivea, L’Oreal, P&G, Splash and Unilever for some of their biggest campaigns. In a male dominated industry, Sara’s feminine touch leaves a distinct mark. She is renowned for her fresh and arresting portraits of women.

Sara has published two books. The first one, When I Look in the Mirror, is a series of extreme close-up portraits of real women with facial imperfections, meant to provoke contemplation in a society growingly obsessed with vanity and perfection. Sara’s second book, We, Love, is a coffee table book that combines compelling narrative, written by the photographer herself, with portraits of pairs in unique selfless bonds. This is a work where Sara’s eye for authenticity flourishes.

Leading a very full and fast paced life led Sara to two tipping points which signified the beginning of her path towards wellness: the first being a cancer scare, and the second a multiple hip fracture. Both experiences provoked an honest desire to take better care of her body, mind and spirit. She is now happily sharing the things she has learned along the way in her wellness blog.

With this prolific commercial career tucked under her belt, and a new found appreciation for wellness and wholeness, Sara embarks on a new phase of her life with her first fine art photography exhibit. “Creativity and expression of truth is such a vital force in a person’s becoming whole, that it really just seemed like the next step,” she says.