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The Rife Team

Black Photography Commission: Identity

For our next photography commission Jazpa shares his take on portrait photography.

Jazpa One is an entrepreneur that uses photography, film and music to create visceral experiences. He has always been interested in expressive art and producing opportunities for the community. “Bristol has a thriving culture, as a youngen I’ve always found myself drawn to art, using my art as a medium for when words are not enough. Sometimes it’s not what you say, it’s how you say it”.

Here, he tells us more about this series.

The following images all capture identity in different ways. Some of the images focus on the eyes, known also as windows to the soul. The remaining ones are focusing on the forever battle that everyone participates internally.

I am interested in photography because it allows one to capture a moment in time. Time, being something that no human can control. but yet, taking a photo allows you to create memories and relive the past. In particular, I am interested in photographing people. I see people as living art, and art is something that cannot expire. therefore even when someone passes away, they still live on through your memory.

This image can be flipped upside down and the focus will stay the same although it’s not symmetrical. The model herself appears to be either standing, looking upwards or leaning backwards horizontal. This image represents a yin yang persona or glass half full half empty. Because the audience will instinctively adjust as one would naturally view the image upside down when in actual fact, you as the audience are looking at the image the “downside up”.

These photos all relate to identity. They all tell the tale of different struggles and strengths externally and internally. The schooling system does the bare minimum to explore and inform each individual about mental health. Things like anxiety are not strongly monitored and therefore I use my art to self medicate and inform. To me this series means, art has no boundaries. The only boundaries are the ones you put on yourself.

This image is interesting because the subject (myself) is clearly wearing an outfit deemed to society as being transgressive, even though my body language suggests otherwise. This image to me, reminds me of a brand new toy or trading card. That hasn’t been removed from its sealed package, almost like a Ken doll on a shelf. Which in a deeper meaning is a metaphor for the way society has evolved. there’s a small percent of the population that hold majority wealth which in today’s spectrum would be like a person purchasing a new toy but then discarding it after time. And I personally feel like my rights as a human are constantly being challenged.

This image has a simplicity. The symbol of power has spiralled into everyday ethos for the many. Although some may disagree with its value and meaning it still successfully makes the viewer question their position on equality which therefore relates to their identity.

This photo was taken by me, of me, on the set of my music video which is unreleased. I like this image because although my face isn’t completely visible, the expression on my face says it all. I enjoy photographing eyes and facial expressions because they show true emotion. And good stories take you on emotional adventures.

My ambition as a photographer would be to create a community of creatives to explore different avenues within Bristol. I am also a videographer and rapper, I use still and moving images alongside poetry to express myself. My next crusade will be dividing a visual based album, combining photography and music.

Follow Jazpa One on Instagram @jazpaoneofficial