Originally from Miami, Florida, Meg Pukel launched her career in photography at Syracuse University. In 1999, she earned a B.F.A. in Fine Art Photography, graduating with honors. During her tenure at Syracuse, desire and passion directed Meg to further her studies in Florence, Italy. Provoked and challenged, Meg thrived in this inspiring medium. As a result, she was awarded the Anthony J. Wirps a Scholarship in her final year for outstanding academic work in the visual arts.
Meg is passionate about her photography! Her work visually impacts the viewer with the complexities of existence in today's society and has been displayed at numerous galleries, restaurants, nightclubs, and alternative spaces. Brashness and reality lends her work greater dimension and diversity. Remaining loyal to her vision, Meg's images create a unique perspective of the nude female body; first by photographing the nude form, then projecting the figure at night onto a particular landscape. Each piece represents a "truth" and immediately takes possession of the viewer's thoughts. This process is completed using a generator as the light source and a slide projector to cast the image. Through these dynamics, the artist explores the relationship between the projected female self and the singular landscape to provoke new dimensions.
Meg's influences are varied. She has experienced life on both coasts, originating from Miami, Florida then spending time in South Lake Tahoe, California. Travels to Europe add to her colorful history. Embedded with challenge and change, these environments have served to shape her opinions and truths. Wrapped with attitude and candor, her work remains contemporary and contemplative.
We are taught from infancy that beauty is a woman's scepter so the mind shapes itself to the body, and running around its gilt cage, only seeks to adorn its prison. I am interested in the ubiquitous and thoroughly routine grip that culture has had and continues to have on the female body. I do not want to make pretty or odd images of the female body but rather explore and deconstruct her inexhaustible beauty and form to create a new kind of dialogue. My work involves three key elements: performance, installation, and documentation that come together to make the final picture. The inherent femininity of nature combined with the female figure, reconfigured, and then put back on display serves to create a representational environment where the body speaks to the landscape and vice-versa.
The female in my work adapts and forms to her environment as the surroundings restructure her being. Her essence haunts the darkened nightcaps and leaves a transient, sensual feel on the otherwise lonely streets, trees, stones, and buildings. Both the projected image of the female figure and the environment itself are equally important and not only feed off each other, but create a dialogue and presence. The woman is a signifier and does not refer to a specific type of body, race, or emotion, but hopefully is all encompassing in speaking to and of the woman. It would be impossible to have one body embody the exact essence of being a woman. It is interesting and somewhat problematic at times within my work that although the woman is being taken out of the usual contexts of mass media and being placed in more banal and unusual environments, that she is still glorified and sexual.
I am searching towards a fresh solution or rather my own enlightenment, in creating lasting insight and critique of female representation without adding to the already vulnerable and exhausted state of the female. Concurrently, I hope to create work that is unburdened or unswayable by technique or form, yet is enhanced and accessible by the feeling of the image itself.
Society has led women to believe that beauty is their weapon. This notion has contributed to yet another way of mentally imprisoning women with their physical form by constantly making women seek adornment of their bodies as a way measuring up. I am interested in the ubiquitous and thoroughly routine grip that culture has had and continues to have on the female body. Although my images are sexually provoking their focus is not in the use of the female form as an icon but moreover as a catalyst in the dialogue between woman and her surroundings. My work involves three key elements: performance, installation, and documentation that come together to make the final statement. I combine nature, industry and the female figure, reconfigure them, and put them back on display to create a representational environment where the body speaks to the landscape and vice-versa.