Justin Squirewell


I am from Columbia, South Carolina. I am currently a candidate for a B.A. in Art with a minor in Humanities degree at Winthrop University. I transferred to Winthrop from the Art Institute of Charlotte, North Carolina. I am interested in philosophy, spirituality, mythology and iconography. My interests vastly influence my work. After graduation, I wish to obtain an assistant position with a fashion photographer while establishing my foundation in the art community.

Artist Statement:

All we have to believe with is our senses, the tools we use to perceive the world: our sight, our touch, our memory. If they lie to us, then nothing can be trusted. And even if we do not believe, then still we cannot travel in any other way than the road our senses show us; and we must walk that road to the end” (Neil Gaiman, American Gods). I wished to utilize visual perception to explore the human form via body painting and dramatic lighting. I wished to engage my viewers with a body of work depicting models as in various colors and patterns of body paint.

I was inspired to photograph the human form with body painting to replicate the anthropomorphic depictions associated with various deities in Egyptian mythology. I am connected to this body of work because of the passion I have for mythology and the creative expression resulting from my unique perception on ancient mythos. I have found that the unique physical features of the subjects greatly influenced the end results of the images. Great importance is put into the model and their use of body painting and dramatic lighting. My work has a performative quality from the use of the body painting. The body painting gives my work a personal intimacy. The exploration and application of colo gives y work additional layers of interest. When photographing different subjects, different features and personalities of the subjects produce varying and interesting photographs. Each image is rendered to a greater or lesser degree by the persona of the model subject. While working with my models through the body painting process I began to discern the individual characteristics and physical feature which gives each image its own uniqueness.