MALEAH RAILEY


Michael
Inkjet Print
25.5 x 36 inches
2017


Michael P. 
Inkjet Print
36 x 25.5 inches
2017  

Garrett
Inkjet Print
36 x 25.5 inches
2017  


A Fashion Film
Video
2017


I Dream
Experimental Video
2018


Black and White Series
Digital Photograph
2018


ARTIST STATEMENT

The beauty of people and the relationships that can be created with them capture my attention.  I do not think of myself as an artist, but as a photographer and capturess of moments of beauty, emotion, and light. Fashion, family, and the beauty of life and love drive the subject matter choices and concepts in my work. In the studio and outdoors, I use my camera to capture both the moments that I create with models and props, as well as the candid, priceless, personal events that will eventually fade into memories. One of my most recent series involved the use of flowers with the figure, specifically the male figure in contrast with the feminine floral aspects. Specifically, for this project, I incorporated the bouquets of flowers with shirtless men to challenge masculinity as well as the reversal of the male gaze. Additionally, the men cover their faces with the flowers as a way of challenging and honoring chivalry.

Reflections and mirrors have had an influence on my work. The use of metallic paper and reflective material represent my connection to mirrors. These reflective surfaces offer a viewer an entrance into another world through the photograph. This plays into the fairytale and fantasy aspect of my work. I draw my inspiration from the women in fairy tales, the glitter and the jewels, but also the simple, sweet, and humble. As a young girl, I would gaze into the mirror to see if I looked like my mom or great grandmother. They were the ladies that I aspired to be like. I played with their makeup, tried on their clothes and high heel shoes. I hoped that one day I would see their faces in mine in the mirror. I wanted to be as much like my role models as possible.

I am a third-generation entrepreneur. My entrepreneurial mindset influences my work. My work is my art and my art is my work. I opened my online boutique, Lei & Aly, in February of this year. Lei & Aly Boutique has been an avenue for me to create the photos that I wanted to create. I create lifestyle imagery that make my viewers and potential patrons visiting my website want to join in on that fun. I aspire to sell my clothing and accessories, but I also want my customers to know the mission of my company. I want to share my vision for happiness and fulfilling dreams with style and class. As the owner of the boutique, I have the pleasure of seeking out and buying the clothing that will best fit my vision. I must know what I want and stick to it.

Genuine innocence, modesty, and purity are not seen as often in the world today, which is mostly filled with violence against women and exposure of the body. In my artwork as well as my boutique, I act against these societal norms. My models are styled in a way that is trendy and confident, yet modest. When photographing, I also desire to make every person feel as if they are the most important person in the world. Through my art work and boutique, I am creating a brand and a lifestyle that will continue to influence each other. I desire to bring the fairytale out in everyone I photograph in order to enhance the beauty and happiness already within them.

maleahrailey.com

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