Sharlotte Fondeur- Casas is a photographer born in the Dominican Republic and raised in Queens, NY where she currently resides. She received her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Creative Photography from St. John’s University in 2014 and received a One Year Certificate of General Studies from the International Center of Photography in 2013.
Can you tell us about your process/work?
My ideas for a project usually start to manifest as a reaction to a situation, usually personal or emotional. These incidents are usually isolated. It becomes
the start of an intense dialogue between the left and right brain – the left trying to understand and dissect the situation and then the right brain taking the reins and finding a solution or a satisfying perspective to present creatively.
Fine tuned planning follows suit and becomes the core of my creative process. It is the driving force for carrying any project to its completion. My work heavily revolves around the themes of identity and the relationships developed in the domestic landscape.
How do you feel creativity plays a role in the work that you do? Where do you feel your creativity derives from?
I think 5 years of school has aided in helping me forget what the word creativity means! Haha. It has lost its meaning for me or has been replaced by other words or more sophisticated means (even though I used it in a vague sense in my previous response). I have only lately experienced the word as a noun – “You’re a creative aren’t you”. I think the word has more play in my fashion stories. Those narratives are usually more creative but that’s mostly because of the works or themes they reference.
How do you engage and attribute the strength of femininity in your life?
The fight is exhausting to be completely honest. I work in a heavily male dominated industry and have to constantly renew my feminine strength every time it gets challenged which is practically every day. But my mother raised me to
be strong and so I persist. Although, sometimes I challenge and detest my own femininity. It’s incredibly chaotic at times.
Do you have a mantra or ritual that carries throughout your daily life?
Prepare in advance for all the plans you plan to prepare.
Organization is the key to personal success for me, this I apply to every single aspect of my life. It’s the only way my internal operating system functions – I need to respect that on a daily basis. The only downfall is a strong lack of flexibility.
How do the concepts of home and family fit into your work/drive your work?
I believe that the foundation of our identity starts with our familial environment so for me both these concepts are married. It is the main driving force of my entire body of work. Whether I wish it or not, all my previous works or series have gone back to these two concepts!
What are some important lessons or learnings you would like to share with those reading this?
I think not only as an artist, but as a person, we must respect ourselves in the truest sense. It means listening to our internal monologue and isolating those things that truly makes us happy and motivated. I think it’s too often that we let outside noise fill our heads. I think it’s important to embrace temporary isolation. It is also important that this all stays within a perpetual internal balance. I was always a big fan of Nikola Tesla’s methods of working through his own process, even if he did lose his mind towards the end of his life, haha.
Self analysis is also an important process to apply rigorously, especially when regrading one’s work.
What do you view as extraordinary?
Extraordinary for me is our species’ need to constantly see and apply improvement. To truly look at something and say “it’s good now, let’s make it better”. It’s why we can not only walk, but fly as well! How extraordinary is that.
What are you working on right now?
Right now I’m currently working on the final stages of the “Mi Niña” project and after that I will dive into finishing a 6 year series I have been doing on my grandmother who is currently suffering from Alzheimer’s. I have been wanting to turn the project into a book for the longest time now.