By Oriana Koren
This ongoing visual exploration is part confrontation, part observation. With these portraits, I am hoping to confront and challenge ideas about how we usually see black women in visual media, particularly in photography. I am exploring creating portraits that challenge the idea of the male gaze by framing my subjects within the female gaze; incidentally, I am also challenging and confronting the white gaze.
In making this work, I am seeking to answer one very important question: How does one cultivate an identity, or identities, in regards to the intersection of race and gender when you don’t always feel fully in control of how others see and perceive you?
Oriana Koren is a Los Angeles-based editorial photographer specializing in narrative food and portrait photography. Acutely attuned to the unfolding narratives around her, Oriana’s inquisitive spirit led her to probe into isolation in Tokyo, voting rights in post-Katrina New Orleans, and chronicling Chicago’s innovative pool of cutting edge chefs and restaurants. It’s that same inquisitive spirit that allows Oriana to connect deeply with her subjects, focusing on human interest stories, to document the diverse commonality of human experience. This year, she was nominated for Photo News District’s ’30 New and Emerging Photographers to Watch in 2015’.