Thursday, June 24, 2010

Portrait Artist: Michelle Kopka...Eclectic Illuminations

All photos are portfolio work of Michelle Kopka

There is an Intense Simplicity about Michelle Kopka that draws me into her work. I can't say I understand that netherworld of Light and Isolation, but I'm captivated by it in every way.

This Center for Creative Studies graduate has earned her Star in photography by exploring her unique visual voice over the past 6 years. Her focus includes a mix of Fashion, Portraiture, and Fine Art.
I was delighted to learn about her research methods, inspirations and personal collections over coffee recently. Michelle collects "Vintage Props" which are often included in her work. She is keenly attune to places and things most of us overlook. The textures at the supermarket, the color of a room, the make up section of a drug store. She is also meticulous in her approach to staging, composition and execution. Inspiration comes from everywhere and often from a favorite record, or movie.

Michelle admires the work of Dutch Photo Artist Rineke Dijkstra and Author Lauren Greenfield, who wrote "Book Girl Culture".

You can see from this collection of her photography that she is deft at capturing the beauty and solitude of the Female experience. Some of her work is ghostlike and elusive, but it's also innocent and crisp. I love the nostalgic qualities in her work. I admire her precision and willingness to be vulnerable and her ability to evoke a wide range of emotion.

Michelle displays a powerful mix of talent and intelligence that will grow and evolve as she continues to expand her photographic horizons.
"I went to a cobbler To fix a hole in my shoe He took one look at my face And said, "I can fix that hole in you"

Jenny Lewis sings those words in "Acid Tongue" and I get a sense that Michelle is doing exactly that, with her poetic photographic powers.

You are encouraged to see more of her work at and contact her with questions and inquires at

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