By Gabbie Corral |Staff Writer|
One CSUSB photography student has been inspired by the messages ads and billboards send to society and is turning them into art.
Deana Romo, a studio art major with a concentration in photography, has recently grabbed the attention of her professor, Thomas McGovern, with her most recent project.
“My style is mostly revolved around people in the media and how people are so wrapped up in what beauty is. The models aren’t as perfect as we perceive them to be,” said Romo of her latest project.
Romo has put together a collection of photographs in which she distorts the faces and bodies of beautiful models and celebrities in magazine ads by folding the paper into origami-like designs such as “water bombs” or the familiar “cootie catcher.”
“Ads and billboards are everywhere,” said Romo, “And it seems as if we can’t get away from them. I decided I would just base my art around them and instead point my finger back at it all and say, ‘This is what I think of what you’re trying to sell me.’”
Romo’s interest in photography began her freshman year of high school when she took her first class. She started at CSUSB as a Spanish major but then quickly discovered that photography was her first love.
“I feel like I’m in control when I have my camera and that I can access anything,” said Romo when asked what her favorite thing about photography was. “There are no boundaries.”
One thing Romo has discovered about photography is that it has helped her break out of her comfort zone. She describes herself as shy, but photography has helped her become more outgoing so that she can get the shot she wants.
“Every photograph should have some sort of narrative to it,” said Romo. “ I want people to look at my photos and see that the message is obvious.”
She was inspired to get her message across by distorting the faces and bodies of models in magazines in the form of paper folding by her already existing love for origami.
“I was using my wide angle lens and by using that, the edges of the picture already expands,” said Romo. “I thought to myself ‘How can I make these people look even more ridiculous?’ I started folding the paper into different designs and realized it gave them even more conformities.”
Romo recently realized a famous photographer named Weegee had taken on a similar challenge in the 1950s by distorting the images of celebrities. One of his most famous photographs is of Marilyn Monroe where he adjusted her nose to resemble a pig.
“I already started my year-long project when I had discovered Weegee as a photographer,” said Romo. “But now he inspires me to take even more pictures in this style!”
Romo plans to attend graduate school for photography in the fine arts after CSUSB and hopes she can continue to send messages to people through her art.