Who are you?
I was born and raised in Panama City, Panama, a little country in Central America. At the age of 22, I moved to Argentina and lived there for ten years. It was there where I experimented with photography for the first time during a chaotic moment in my life.
With a very low budget, I had to start with what I had in hand: a cellphone. It wasn't smart, and took horrible photographs. The limited image quality served as a bridge to learning image editing with Photoshop.
It wasn't until I came back to Panama that I was able to use a professional camera, and after using one, I wouldn't be able to go back to mobile phone photography ever again.
I do photography as a passion because it lets my body speak in great ways. Our bodies are the best representation of art. I do self-portraits not to focus on myself, but to use my body as a tool for experimentation. I enjoy struggling with my mind until there are no more weird feelings to capture. Capturing the unusual satisfies my camera.
Full Name: Joy Aird
D.O.B: August 28
Where were you born?
I was born in Panama City. I grew up there, but I left to Argentina for ten years. I later came back to Panama and I've lived here until this date.
How would you describe your art?
Definitely very psychological. My photography involves body and mind; my mind (the protagonist), my body (the tool); my mind plays and controls my body any way that it wants. I never plan my photos, all of them are made the moment of the shoot.
When were you first introduced to photography?
2006. I still remember quite clearly, and I keep my first photograph. Today I see that picture and I get a sense of the time passed in my photography.
Why did you start taking self portraits? Do you do other kinds of photos?
I started taking self portraits as a method of psychological therapy, which today represents my work. It took me over 6 years until I was able to call myself a photographer. I've always been very hard and critical of myself.
I've got a couple of abstract works outside of my self portraits but they're definitely not my strong point.
What medium do you use to photograph? Analog or digital?
The majority of my photographs are taken with a Canon 60D.
Have you ever tried experimenting with other forms of photography?
I've only experimented with digital photography but the doors are very open for analog photography. That classic and nostalgic touch in analog photography seduces me, as well as the ritual of developing the photos.
What makes a self portrait different than a selfie?
A selfie doesn't say much about a person. It's a superficial way of showing ourselves to the world, and most of the time we lie about the way we (seem to) feel in one. On the contrary, with self portraits there's a lot of work put into development and there is always a story to tell.
Do you consider these photographs self-portraits or selfies?
Has selfie culture influenced how you work?
Can strong sexual process be empowering?
Sexuality has always been a potential weapon for many past generations. In this day and age, I don't believe that's the case anymore. Everything has been seen and shown, so common methods do not seduce or entertain anymore. You need to perform in a distinct manner. We need to re-invent.
How do you feel about your sexuality as a woman?
Like an undiscovered continent, which I've been roaming and still have not discovered everything.
What is your definition of beauty?
I find beauty in imperfection, in what breaks the rules, in free spirits, in rebels… Beauty for me is completely intangible, yet very easy to capture with photography.
When do you feel the need to take your next picture?
Once a new day starts I'm already breathing my next pictures. I have no need in going out and scouting for locations; I could be in-between four walls and still be able to take pictures. Even if I had no resources or elements, I can always count on my body and mind as my main engine.
How do you feel when you finish a shoot?
Complete and anxious but in a good way. Yet, definitely the peak point is when I see what came out of the shoot. In terms of body, I feel as if I was in the gym for 3 hours straight.
How does your creative work reflect into your life?
Happiness and passion
What is something that you bring into your work that helps you?
I only ask for silence and my personal space. Everything else is luxury.
What influences you to create?
Definitely cinema. I really enjoy feeding my senses with a great story and even more with equally or better visuals. Look at shots, photographic angles, scenes, character gestures and reactions. Cinema always enriches the creativity in my work.
Who is your muse?