Rare as a Winter Rainbow by Zachariah Szabo

Issue 111

I was designed to be a boy beauty queen. Growing up as an adopted only child that was homeschooled, I was constantly reminded of how different I was from other boys my age every time I’d go out of my house. I was a figure skater, a dancer, and my mom signed me up for pageants. I was often the only boy enrolled in my activities. I always knew I was a little different, but being queer was never an opportunity I was exposed to until college. My mother was the buffer between myself and the world, often making every decision for me, “for my own good”.

My childhood was a constant uncomfortable combination of things that were visually incoherent. Much like my identity, the home that I grew up in was a work in progress, utilizing discount flooring and mismatched sale wallpapers and paints found by my mother. The home had no cohesive character or atmosphere; it was a visual disaster. My mom passed away shortly before I came out, moved out of the house and began living on my own. I began critically analyzing my mother’s aesthetic and linking her design sensibility to my childhood development.

My still-life photographs are an effort to connect my feelings toward my formative years and my relationship with my parents. The combination of materials in my images are structured to reference otherness and isolation in a visually functional manner, in an effort to rebuild the home in which I grew up. Many patterns and objects in the photographs are those that I’d see in friend’s homes or on TV, but never in my own. The stand-alone objects are pieces that are too dominant or minuscule to be included in the still-life images, but are documented against a white background to give the viewer an opportunity to examine the piece on its own. The photographs are taken with a digital camera tethered to a computer and each composition is made incamera. Each image relates to a memory from my past, whether clear or vague, and by combining certain objects with others, I attempt to bridge the gap between the environment I knew and the one I may have desired.

Zachariah Szabo lives and works in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
To view more of Zachariah's work, please visit his website.

 The Sleeping Bear

The Sleeping Bear

 
 Untitled #148

Untitled #148

 
 The Undertow

The Undertow

 
 Untitled #178

Untitled #178

 
 Frondescence

Frondescence

 
 This Is The Day

This Is The Day

 
 Untitled #218

Untitled #218

 
 Oasis

Oasis

 
 Reception

Reception

 
 Untitled #187

Untitled #187

 
 In Good Graces

In Good Graces

 
 Untitled #228

Untitled #228

 
 Monument

Monument

 
 Your Best Friend

Your Best Friend

 
 Untitled #190

Untitled #190

 
 Pink Dreams

Pink Dreams

 
 Pinnacle

Pinnacle

 
 Untitled #101

Untitled #101

 
 Vanity

Vanity

 
 One Man’s Nightmare

One Man’s Nightmare