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Juno Calypso is the name you need to know on the London art scene.
The artist and her staged alter ego, Joyce, is making waves with her self-portraits that examine Americana suburbia, consumerism and ideas around beauty and femininity – all with a distinctively unsettling and compelling vision.
Ahead of her upcoming exhibition as Artist of the Day at Flowers Gallery (21 Cork Street, London, W1S 3LZ) on July 2, we spoke to Juno about her life, art and style.
Check out what Juno had to say and some of her best work below…
Hey Juno! We can’t decide if we think of you as a photographer or an artist… Which title do you prefer?
I like artist because taking the photo is only the last small step in a long process of prop making and set building. And because it let’s me off when I forget how to use a camera properly!
How did you get started in your line of work?
I studied photography at London College of Communication where the course was very fine-art based and they really taught me how to make a career as a fine-art photographer. After I graduated I was nominated for the Catlin Art Prize and I’ve been hitchhiking around the art world since then.
Tell us about your character Joyce. Where did she come from? What does she represent?
Joyce was an accidental child. I used to only photograph friends and models but I’d always use myself as a stand-in model to test out the lighting a few days before a shoot. I’d pull ugly faces to make the experience less awkward and one day I brought the pictures into uni just to have something to show my tutor for our weekly deadline and she loved them.
My face made her laugh and that was an interesting reaction that changed everything. Before, all I wanted to do was make hyper-alluring glossy images of women looking sexy and dangerous. Now I use my weird face to make people laugh but also to explore the exhaustion women often feel while bearing the weight of constructed femininity.
What is the proudest moment of your career so far?
I think being awarded first prize and full marks for my degree show is still my favourite because I had no idea if my work was any good then and I’d worked so hard for it. I’m a born and bred Londoner so seeing my work on the underground was cool too.
What’s coming up for you next?
I have a solo exhibition at where I’ll be showing a new body of work that I shot at a couple’s honeymoon hotel in America. I went by myself and it was a very awkward experience but I can’t wait for people to see the images.
Written for MY FLASH TRASH