We had the good fortune of connecting with Chloe Meynier and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Chloe, do you have some perspective or insight you can share with us on the question of when someone should give up versus when they should keep going?
Making a living as a fine art photographer is very difficult so this question sometimes pops in my mind. The struggle can be real at times but I found that dedication, patience and perseverance are the key elements that keep me going. I used to doubt my ability to succeed in photography but I have achieved some major stepping stones over the past two years that partially pushed away this doubt. It is not easy every day and of course, I still have moments where I doubt myself but when it happens, I immediately replace the doubt with the idea that my hard work will pay-off again in the future and that it cannot be a win every day. There are moments where I wonder why I do what I do but I think the validation from well-known people in the industry helps me to continue and not give-up.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I am a fine-art photographer and my work revolves around gender identity and societal norms. Overall, my work always questions how society shapes human beliefs and ideologies, and reinforces the importance to continue the action for gender equality. The recent decision of the Supreme Court to ban abortions will probably lead to a new project. Instead of using models, I am using myself in all my projects. One of my most recent series “Made in the Shade” depicts characters in Mid Century Modern settings, mirroring an era that was aspiring for change but during which some women rapidly lost their independence gained during the war period and returned to domesticated environments to fulfill decades of gender role traditions. The interior settings are authentic to the time period and are an essential element of the narrative. My imagery is purposely constructed in a meticulous way to avoid constraining the viewer into my personal vision. The lighting and color palette are very particular and exhibit an intimate and voyeuristic feeling at the same time. The series challenges female stereotypes and gives the characters the power to be architects, scientists, musicians, engineers, doctors, etc.; roles often identified as being fulfilled by men. Several images of this project have been shot in and around LA as there is a big concentration of Mid Century Modern homes with their original layouts and furniture.
I only create photographs a few times a year as I finance my own projects but I am very pleased that the series has gained some recognition and exposure over the past couple of years. I was awarded a prestigious accolade: Fine Art Photographer of the Year through the International Photo Awards (IPA) in 2020. More recently I won the Portrait Award series through Fotonostrum, and Life Framer. I also made the Top 50 through Critical Mass in 2021 and was longlisted for the Aesthetica Art Prize 2022.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
My choice of things to do, see and experience is eclectic! I would definitively have breakfast at Hugo’s Restaurant on Santa Monica Blvd and would then head to the Venice Skate Park. I love watching people skateboarding there! A lunch at the Butcher’s Daughter on Abbot Kinney in Venice would also be on my list of things to do as well as going to Bergamot Station to check out some major art galleries in LA. I recommend visiting the Stahl House, which is one of the most iconic Mid Century Modern house in the world. I would also hit the Abbey Food & Bar in WeHo to get some drinks with good music or the Mohawk Bend on Sunset Blvd for their selection of craft beers, food and old school photobooth. My last stop would be at the Compartes Chocolate store on North La Brea!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Lots of people believed and still believe in me but my partner is the person who I want to give some credit to. She pushed me when I lost my motivation and helped me to regain my confidence in moments of doubt. She is also the perfect assistant and some of my images would not have been as successful without her help. Even if she represents the most important factor in my success, my parents made my transition into photography possible and without their unconditional support, I would not be where I am today. Sadly, my mom passed away 3 years ago but she is still a very strong driving force in my life.
© Chloe Meynier