Photographer, artist, & educator from a small farm town in upstate, NY; currently residing in Brooklyn. Graduated from SVA with a BFA in photography in 2013.
‘Home’: I chose to work around the theme of “home,” because it’s a theme that I’ve been dealing with a lot in my work, from the time I entered college until now. My thoughts about making work that relate to my hometown, my family, or where I come from are constantly changing and evolving, because it’s such a huge idea and it encompasses so many micro-ideas. I also think that a lot of young humans reconsider their ideas about home once they start to come of age, or perhaps move away from that comfortable space. Your home eventually might become a place that seems less comfortable, or maybe causes emotional dissonance, and those conflicting feelings can really start to help you figure out who you are, what you want, and where you want to go from there.
@bridgetbadore (instagram & twitter)
An Interview with Bridget Badore:
What inspired you to become an artist?
When I was in elementary school, I used to steal my mom’s 35mm point & shoot and take photos of my friends during recess. They were just silly photos of us being kids, but I loved it; and I loved the feeling of dropping off all this film at the grocery store and picking up my prints and looking through all of those images again. Once I hit middle school, my mom gave me my dad’s old Minolta 35mm, along with his camera bag full of notes from photo class and a kodak guide to photography that I started reading to teach myself the basics.
My dad passed away when I was three, so it felt like a really big deal to me. We didn’t have a lot of resources in my small town, so I tought myself a lot of stuff. I got really discouraged a lot, because I wanted someone to teach me more than I could teach myself (and I clearly wasn’t taking full advantage of what the internet had to offer), but I think what made me keep photographing was the feeling that it somehow made me feel a little bit closer to my dad, using his camera and knowing that he was really passionate about photography as well. Once I moved to NYC, I was very quickly exposed to the actual world of photography, and that allowed me to evolve and figure out why photography is important to me on a larger scale.
You work in both color and black and white, which would you consider yourself to be most passionate about?
I’m super passionate about color photography. I wish I had gotten more use out of the color darkroom at my school before they got rid of it. I think black and white photography can be really amazing as well; but I personally find myself most inspired by certain color palettes, so color just works for me.
What is your advice to younger artists?
Always look to yourself for inspiration. As an exercise, start asking yourself “why” to literally everything. Also, never be afraid to just try something. A lot of times, I was too nervous to try new approaches or start new projects when I was younger — that doesn’t get you anywhere! You have to be willing to grow outside of your comfort zone. If you find yourself really interested in something but you feel hesitant to investigate that something, let go of your hang-ups and just do it. You’ll discover things about yourself and your work throughout the process of creating honestly, and it will be worth it.
Are there any artists that inspire you in particular?
Definitely! I’ve always loved Nan Goldin for her gritty candids and stimulating colors, and Sally Mann for her rich tones and more subtle intensity; It’s funny because they’re almost exact opposites in that way. When I was working on my thesis in college, I was thinking a lot about artists like Elinor Carruci and Leigh Ledare. In terms of portraiture, I look a lot at Peter Hujar’s work, which can be very haunting but incredibly beautiful. I also really love Egon Schiel, Aurel Schmidt, and Miranda July.
Describe your relationship with your work.
I think this question could be answered a lot of ways, and that’s why I like it. I’m thinking a lot about what the word “relationship” really means, and how important it is to really have a strong relationship with your art. For me, I feel like that relationship is constantly developing and changing, and making me realize new things about myself (which is how a healthy relationship should be, right?!). But I think that my work has also been a way for me to investigate other relationships in my life, whether they be unhealthy relationships or confusing relationships with distant family members. It’s weird when you think about how much certain people affect you at different points in your life; someone might be gone now
but that influence they had on you will always be a part of your existence. It’s kind of relieving in a way, but it’s also a little eerie if you think about it. I think that’s why I’m drawn to photography specifically — you can document something that was totally real and true in that one moment, but who knows what your relationship will be with that moment one week or one year later.