Mallory Roa (Artist Profile)
As part of our ongoing student profile series (#CYProud), we’re pleased to highlight the extraordinary work of Mallory Roa, a Cypress College Class of 2016 graduate who will continue her art and photography studies on full merit scholarship at the prestigious San Francisco Art Institute, School of Photography (founded by Ansel Adams and home to legends such as Annie Leibovitz, Lewis Baltz, and our very own Cypress College alumna Carly Cram).
Mallory is a brilliant talent – an artist in all respects. Her photos are vivid and real; not just beautiful images in and of themselves, but narratively compelling. In some sort of magical way, she is able to convey a sense of history and essence through imagery… a significance of place, past and person.
Compelling narratives; frank exposures; implied complicity.
Original views of geometry, texture, light and skyscapes.
Visual tapestries; evocative captures of color and elements.
Scrolling her beautiful Instagram feed, it’s clear that she puts much thought and time into composition and design, the use of color and shape, and the progression of images on a page. She has a great and rare instinct for both curating and creating.
We’re proud that she’ll continue to cultivate and showcase her artistry at one of the world’s very best institutes for creative talents.
Congratulations, Mallory, and best wishes!
#CypressCollege #Photography #Art
Mallory Roa | Artist Statement:
I am a photographer from Southern California. I have also lived in Rome, Italy for a semester. Traveling has brought awareness into my life. I work primarily in the studio and extremely manipulated and controlled environments. I find comfort in control, predictability, and symmetry. My portraits are printed in large scale to aid in creating an intimate, intense, and overwhelming experience. The broad themes in my work are identity, intimacy, and socio-etc commentary. I am also interested in the body image, gender identity, sexuality, virginity, finality of death, introversion, depression and anxiety, HSP tendencies, aphasia, and interpersonal connections. I look forward to living in a place where I am free to pose questions like “How can I be a feminist if I am rejecting my gender?”
My practice is centered on interpersonal relationships and how we view, interact, and stereotype those around us. Social justice is a major theme in my work. “The Generations” are sets of portraits of generational gaps in a family’s lineage. It comments on the physical aspects we pass along and genetics, as well as formality and honor. “Smokin’ Lesbians” is a light-hearted project with a play on words focusing on a group of people who can feel extremely objectified in public. Inspired by Richard Avedon, “Private Moment. Public Space.” is a street portrait exploration of first impressions and the image I impose on a subject. One of my older works, ”Match The Couples” was a survey and study conducted in my local art program that asked survey-takers to blindly match portraits of people into coupled pairs. Given no information, the intent was to discover how prevalent heterosexism, a system of attitudes and biases in favor of the opposite-sex sexuality and relationships, is in a small part of our society. Conducted in the art department, I expect that the results are still generous at 17.9% of participants choosing two heterosexual and two homosexual couples.
I am drawn to artists that explore the human condition. I am drawn to someone oppressed by societal standards in Catherine Opie’s “Self-Portrait,” people designated different at birth in Martin Schoeller’s “Identical,” or those governed by life choices in Rineke Dijkstra’s “Mothers” and “Bull Fighters”. Richard Avedon’s “In the American West” and Diane Arbus’ practices have given me the appreciation of people, their diversity, and rituals of portraiture. Other influences stem from artist’s genuine and pure curiosity of the seemingly mundane, such as John Divola’s “As Far As I Could Get” and Bernd and Hilla Becher’s “Water Towers”.
We plan to profile Mallory’s extraordinary portfolio (and other standout student artists, alums and faculty) with a rolling video narrative come summer. Stay tuned.