Tiff j Tiff Sutton & the “visual style of vulnerability”

Tiff j Tiff Sutton Photography creates photo zines. 

 STL SPEX (Rachel): What are your artistic influences?

Henri Matisse, Richard Avedon, James Vanderzee.

STL SPEX: Who do you create for?

I create work to add to the African American artists’ canon. It is my hope that others will view my work as a part of a larger history of Black women making images. 

STL SPEX: What are your favorite tools and/or effects how do you use them to create your art?

The non biological love of my life is photographic film and film cameras. Most of this work was created with those tools.  It is a draining process, but film creates the greatest photographic effects, such as color saturation, a soft focus, and the ability to create multiple exposures in camera instead of Photoshop. 

STL SPEX: How do you choose settings for your portraits – what are you looking for in a location?

I choose my settings based on what I can control. Lighting, colors, comfort of models specifically is what I look for in a location. For me the studio is that place. I also like a blank slate. 

STL SPEX: In your artist’s statement, you mention that your portraits of women are “post-impressionistic” – what led you to this particular visual language?

I am inspired by French post-impressionists and the aesthetic they create. What I want to achieve is the same softness to the images of women with fruit. That visual style speaks a lot to the vulnerability of the models and of myself as an artist. 


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