Says Natalie: Phantasmagoria is about the failure of the human intellect to make sense not only of the world, but of itself. It’s about the Kantian sublime: the feeling of awe and wonder, or perhaps horror and fear, at the realization that so much about the universe, and even our own minds, lies outside the realm of human comprehension. It’s about the limited nature of humanity. Both our actual physical mortality and our flawed, inadequate perception of reality.
The images in this series are allegorical and they are meant to serve as morality tales. Some speak to us from a philosophical perspective addressing questions about human nature and our place in the world. Others delve deeper into the personal and private follies which plague our daily lives.
Since the beginning of recorded history human beings have used story as an instructive tool. Stories uncover our fears and weaknesses and show us how to use our strengths to overcome them. The tales I present in this series are dark. They ask us to look in places we don’t often like to look and explore possibilities we would much rather ignore. It is my belief that only through such unflinching self-evaluation and honest introspection can we become better, stronger, and more capable of achieving our full potential.
Natalie Arriola is an award-winning fine art and portrait photographer. Her work explores philosophical themes which serve to question the flawed nature of human perception. She creates surrealist imagery that is almost always dark, ominous, and unsettling. Her work has been featured in exhibitions at The Center for Fine Art Photography, PhotoPlace Gallery, and Black Box Gallery among others. She has been published in F-Stop Magazine, Dark Beauty X, Lenscratch, and Shot’s Magazine.