Margeaux Walter is quite the chameleon. She’s posed as a teenager, a bride, a club-goer, a dad, a jogger, a child, a commuter—and has the wigs to prove it. “I like to figure out who the characters are before I start photographing,” says Walter. With a background in photography, Walter uses digital media to create lenticulars—prints that move when looked at from different angles. Forcing viewers to sway back and forth in calculated motions, the most intriguing aspect of Walter’s lenticulars is the viewer interaction they rely on. With some pieces showing three or four different images, observers can easily spend more than a few minutes trying to grasp each of the characters’ movements. Her Crowded series featured images of groups of up to 50 people in various social settings; in line to get into a club, at a sporting event, a concert, a graduation. For this series, Walter photographed herself as each of the characters (sometimes taking up to 150 photos per character) and later collaged the photos together to create a crowd of incognito Margeaux Walters.
“I’m told that my men aren’t very believable,” says Walter, who resorts to hats and a fake scruff for her male personas, “so I’ve started working with prosthetics to see how far those will take me.” As for the setting of her pieces, Walter relies on dollhouses to create the desired background for her characters—meticulously crafting miniature rooms which she photographs and enlarges to the scale of her autoportraits.
Aside from the shelves upon shelves of wigs, Walter’s Brooklyn studio is crammed with artifacts from each of the characters she’s posed as for her pieces: a clothing rack with everything from a graduation gown to a muscle suit, prosthetic noses, masks, toys, sculptures, cables and countless books. But the most imposing accessory in Walter’s studio is a frilly, white and pink wedding dress. Made entirely out of paper by the artist herself in less than a day, the dress is worthy of a Barbie outfit, complete with layers and layers of ruffles and rosebuds lining the top seam of the corset. “My friends kept telling me to do something on weddings, but the only connection I had to weddings was the playful, childish aspect,” Walter explains. She used the dress to pose as a bride throwing her (also paper) bouquet at the line of hands reaching out from below her.
Her latest series, TMI, took over a year and a half to make and will be on display at Winston Wachter Fine Art until April 28th. An acronym for “too much information,” TMI explores the invasion of technology in all aspects of a daily life, in even the most intimate settings. “I’m really intrigued by this addiction to technology in all forms—cell phones, iPods, game consoles. The anxiety and need to be connected at all times is what inspires me, like the fact that most people can’t even go to the bathroom without bringing their cellphones.”
Her lenticular iPhone Accident, depicts just that—a woman dropping her cell phone in the toilet. “So many people described this happening to them. It seemed so ridiculous to me,” says Walter, who noted the irony in the fact that while this had never happened to her before, she herself fell victim to phone-flushing not long after she completed the piece. Because although she seems to lament and mock digital dependence, Walter isn’t one of those people who doesn’t own a cell phone and even confesses to being as addicted as the next person. “I have a love/hate relationship with technology. I embrace it for my work, but am still skeptical,” she explains. Drawing inspiration from everyday experiences—the subway, the street, the park—the TMI series reveals a caricature of the common person. “Media in general is what inspires me; how advertising projects this notion of the perfect person and how we all strive to conform to that same, idealized person,” adds Walter.