Amber Gomez

Amber Gomez

Originally from Birmingham, Alabama, Amber Gomez is a photographer currently living in Houston, Texas. Amber began to use photography to illustrate her experiences as a southern black American. Through portraiture and still life, her work focuses on celebrating the culture and individuality of black and brown people. Recently, she has begun incorporating more abstraction through distortion to bring emphasis on how distorted the world views black and brown people.

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“For this residency, I want to further explore distortion through portraiture. I am inspired by cubism and I am interested in applying this process of fragments and abstraction into my photographs. I typically am a digital artist, but with this residency, I plan to print my portraits and further distort through scanning and physically cutting and piecing the pieces together.”

“For my first set of portraits, I decided to explore distortion through an alternative photography process I learned a few years ago, known as polaroid emulsion transfer. It is one of my favorite processes because it doesn’t require much equipment, and it is easily manipulated. For these two portraits, I really love the fluidity of the lines created by the emulsion. It reminds me of brush strokes, and since I am not a painter, I always enjoy when I can create a “painterly effect” with my photographs.”

“This is probably my favorite out of the polaroid portraits because originally this was a photo of her smiling, and after the process, the emotion of this photo completely changed. It went from making me smile when I looked at the photo to now it gives me the feeling of uncertainty and a little anxiety. I found it interesting that my mood looking at the photo would change drastically after a little manipulation.“

“I wanted to share my process with you guys. If you’re interested in this process all you need is hot/cold water, a polaroid, watercolor paper, and tweezers/tongs. I hope this video inspires you to take your polaroids to the next level. If you find yourself stuck on any part of this process, I am more than happy to help, so don’t be afraid to reach out.”

“For this set, I took these photos digitally and printed them at my local Walgreens. I wanted to step away from photoshop and alter these by hand, so I played around with cutting images up into small strips and piecing them back together- sort of like a puzzle. The last image from this set is my first attempt at weaving 3 separate photos together. It took a lot of trial and error, but I am definitely a fan of weaving and can’t wait to apply this technique to more of my photographs.”

“For this set, I continued my process of cutting strips and shapes into one photo and combining it with other photos. For the second photo shown, I loved how I combined the black and white photo blended with the color photo. The black and white photo is a photo of her not smiling but once combined with the color photo, it looks as if both photos are of her smiling.”

“For my final set of images, I shot these digitally and printed them. I then distorted them a little by hand by cutting strips and by also using packing tape to transfer certain areas of the photo. I took these two images and used my scanner to further play with distortion. I really enjoyed every process I played with and I feel that this residency has helped me to push myself, and I am now ready to create more work.”