Christina Stoever is a twenty-two year old student residing in Detroit, Michigan. As a teenager, she began documenting her friends and life around her using a disposable camera. Her recent work explores representing women from a female perspective.
How did you get interested in photography?
Pretty sure it started in middle school when I was bringing a disposable camera to classes and on field trips, just documenting my friendships. This continued into high school and at that point I had realized I didn't want to stop.
I read that you are based in Detroit, Michigan. I lived in Michigan for a few years and Detroit is such a special place, I felt this overwhelming strong presence of community and artists there. How do you feel about the city and does it influence you and your work?
Detroit is full of talented, self-driven creatives and I'd say the art community here is constantly expanding. As Detroit is in the midst of regrowth, I'm inspired by the many different impacts being made by individuals all over the city. There's something really charming and homey about Detroit; I can drive a mile down the road and be surrounded by abandoned, burned down houses and warehouses, and another mile down the road I'll be in a well established, fully functioning residential neighborhood. The city still lacks some essential creative institutions (fashion being a huge one), but I have a feeling that's going to change over the next three to five years.
A lot of your portraiture focuses on women and part of a growing movement of girl gaze, a community of creating for girls, by girls. What are your feelings on how women are represented in art and girl gaze?
In art and media, I think women are incredibly objectified and are inherently sexualized by the male gaze; it's so deeply embedded in our society.
For a large portion of my life, I had no idea how to be comfortable in my own skin as a woman. There are way too many restrictions and expectations placed upon girls from a young age, that it was engrained into my mind that I absolutely had to live up to these standards. As I started to grow more with photography, I looked up to so many female photographers who completely summed up my female experience with their imagery. The girl gaze movement is slowly but surely demolishing those objectifying foundations, and I couldn't be more influenced by the female artists who are infiltrating this male dominated industry.
From the viewer standpoint, your photographs appear to be glimpses into your life of friends and immediate surroundings. What is the relationship between you and the subjects you photograph? Has photography played a role in building these relationships?
My subjects are almost always my female friends. It began as pure documentation of my close bonds with my lady friends,
picking apart and trying to encapsulate the intimate, magical moments we all shared when no one else was around. Photographing these times in my life solidifies a form of nostalgia that I long for and continue to strive to capture, for these moments with my subjects are the ones that fuel my drive to shed light on the female experience.
Where do you draw inspiration from outside of photography?
Self help podcasts, Barefoot Contessa, post impressionist paintings, people watching on Saturday mornings at Eastern Market in Detroit.
What’s in your forecast for 2018?
I plan on launching a publication. Maybe even two! I'm graduating from art school in May, possibly moving to New York at some point in the Fall, transitioning from the safe zone that is academia and venturing off into the real world.
What are you currently obsessed or fascinated by?
Currently obsessed with holiday gift guides; there's something satisfying about someone on the internet advising me on what I should get my loved ones. My asparagus fern. Also pink bubble wrap to safe guard all of the valuables I carry since I still don't own a wallet.