I struggle with my identity myself, depression and

I always find that identity is such an unspoken subject. Who
are we truly as people and why do we all try to hide ourselves away? I have
decided in my essay to look into exactly what identity means to people ad how
artists portray identity in their work.

Firstly, I am going
to look into some artists who have shown identity through there photography
such as photographers like, Thompson S Ekong, Ussi’n Yala, Cedric Nzaka,
Enyeashi, Anna Morosini, Steven Kasher, Holly Andres, Sarah Maple and Cindy
Sherman. I will then research more into identity itself and see what effects
identity has had on the population and its positive and negative outlooks/
effects. I want to see how artists manage to incorporate identity into their
own work and how they add their own personal touches to them. I also want to
see if gender, sexuality, age or personal opinions helps change the way the
artist portrays identity into their own work. The main reason I chose this to
be my topic is because of my personal struggle with my identity myself,
depression and anxiety don’t make it easy for someone to show who they really
are, and at 18 years of age I am still trying to find my place in the world and
accept who I am myself, so people showing identity through photography I found
to be extremely interesting as I can on a personal level also take in the
information and relate to particular artist’s work.

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The first artist I looked at was Cindy Sherman who inspired
my first piece. Her work looks at the process and transformation of her own
identity into another person. By using herself as a model in her images, Cindy
Sherman has built herself and career into a respected popular photographer of
the Late twentieth century. The majority of her images are of herself, but they
are far from being self-portraits, Sherman uses herself as a canvas for
commentary on multiple issues of the modern society: the typical role of a
woman, the role of an artist etc. It is through these unique and ambiguous
photographs Sherman has developed her unique personal style. Through a quantity
of work, she has managed to raise questioning of very important and demanding
representations about the society of today’s views on women and the sole focus
on the creation of art’s nature.

Her photo ‘Untitled
#479’ shows her journey from an average everyday student to a beautiful,
Marylin Monroe looking woman smoking a cigarette. Her images are completely
original and so interesting to look at. They all push the boundaries of what
the public can handle seeing and I believe her untitled #479 was only the
beginning. Her work spiralled into what can only be described as an amazingly
talented artists work. Cindy Sherman using herself as a canvas for her images
is unique and bold as not many artists allow themselves to be changed in their
imagery for photographs, they usually use a model and take the photograph
themselves which is why Sherman has become one of the most admired
photographers of the late 20th century And I admire her incredibly for her
amazing unique and boldness in her work and how she pushes the boundaries of
how we view women in society beauty and sexually. It inspired my first ever
piece in my structure project as I love how she has shown the transformation
between her everyday look to a completely new identity, the beginning and end
image look like two completely different people, which I have imitated in my
own shoot.

The next artists I looked at were all together, so I decided
to keep them together as their work is similar in relation to the topic of
identity. These artists are, Thompson S Ekong, Ussi’n Yala, Cedric Nzaka and
Enyeashi.

Thompson S. Ekong is a young Nigerian new photographer. He
bases his work around imagery that creates awareness around the internet’s affects
on not having full awareness of global issues. He says “the world is more
connected now due to the internet, there’s so much information which makes
humanity more conscious and it’s perplexing to anyone who can’t understand this
change and growth around them. It’s really peculiar in Africa, this rapid
change from one generation to another.” He represents humanity in his art and
explores themes such as forgotten about issues experienced by young depressed
Africans.

Ussi’n Yala is a self- taught photographer who originates
from Gabon, but is based in Paris. He started his photography career as a
street photographer. He was invited to display his work in exhibitions in
places such as the “African Art Fair 2016”. He also had solo exhibitions where
he displayed his photos of the streets of Gabon. He is enrolled in a
photography masters degree in 2018, where his work now displays works of
fashion, portrait and now editorial photography.

Cedric Nzaka’s inspiration is his mother who loved to
photograph all family occasions. But it wasn’t until 2011 that his career in
photography really began, this was when Cedric and one of his close friends
decided to explore fashion. He says “”We bought a Canon PowerShot and while it
didn’t have that much in terms of megapixels, at the time I didn’t really
care,” several years later he is still creating shoots and taking amazing
photographs. I hope personally that he carries on his work as I find his story
to be one of the most inspirational as it shows that anyone can inspire a
photographer, even a mother.

In a generation where selfies are all the range, Kadara
Enyeasi uses this as the key to his work, using his body as his canvas. The
Nigerian photographer aims to investigate more into this type of art. He is
already planned to display his work at UNSEEN. However, the display of work in
his home town has been described as ‘lukewarm’. These responses have raised up
questioning on the viewing of black body art by the European art scene and the
excessive devotion of black bodies in general ar