Eleven Years – Jen Davis

A photographic study on self-acceptance.

Jen Davis talks about her Eleven Years series as a dialogue with herself, the search for answers to all the questions she was asking herself.
She explains that she started her self-portraits by trying to seduce the viewer with light, hoping to show them the beauty of this body that society rejects and judges.

Eleven Years - Jen Davis
Steve and I – ©Jen Davis

“I couldn’t necessarily identify with the idea of someone seeing me as ‘beautiful,’ but I could accept that the pictures that I created and inhabited were.”

For eleven years, Davis photographed herself with a view camera on a tripod, transferring her insecurities into her photos, gradually moving towards self-acceptance.

Eleven Years - Jen Davis
Untitled No. 11 – ©Jen Davis

Davis explains that she doesn’t want to be seen as “brave”, as the body is not the main subject after all: The images talk about sexuality, relationships, especially relationships with the outside world

Eleven Years - Jen Davis
©Jen Davis

“When I think of the process of doing this work, I was in a kind of trance.”

Jen Davis’ images are reminiscent of 17th-century Dutch paintings, the pale body lit by natural light, sometimes splashed with bright colors.

Eleven Years - Jen Davis
Hawaii – ©Jen Davis

This series is aimed at all people who have not felt in their place at some point, either in their body or in the world in general. Discomfort and the need for contact with others are universal issues.

You can purchase Jen Davis’ book Eleven Years here