The story behind this photo series by artist Jess Landau is just as beautiful and moving as the resulting work itself.
A death of a loved one will always be a heavy blow to anyone, more so when it’s unexpected and tragic. A close friend of artist Jess Landau had committed suicide late last year, and in order to cope with her loss, she sought for artistic, non-verbal ways to express her emotions. The resulting work is this poignant series of nude portraits printed in eggshells. In an interview with Huffington Post, Landau revealed that she initially looked to work on “traditional” materials with “fragile surfaces” such as paper and wood, but still found them “far too stable and concrete for this delicate situation.” Coincidentally, around the same time, Landau was beginning to learn how to use liquid emulsion, which was explained in the article as being “the liquid chemical that makes paper light-sensitive, allowing images to be projected onto them through a darkroom printing process.” And according to Landau, the eggshells just have the right texture for the emulsion to stick.
Creating these photos was actually a two-step process. First, Landau took photos of her models with a 35mm Minolta camera. After developing the images and printing them herself, she started the process of projecting the images on the eggshells through liquid emulsion.
In parting, Landau was quoted as saying, “Life is fragile and temporary, and it should be cradled in the palms of our hands — which is the process that I engaged with as I delicately created each of these works manually, with my hands.”