FotoFest Exhibitions

Nicole Belle

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Home is the realm of Nicole Belle’s photographic explorations, where the normative trappings of domestic tranquility are upended by the figurative convolutions of the photographer herself. In her series Apartment (2008), Belle enacts before the camera contortions of her body and makes unconventional use of home objects, turning her domain into the palette of her psyche. What at first appears to be absurd becomes a reflection of Belle’s desire to evoke a sense of connection between a person and the space in which she lives. She draws inspiration from the staged happenings of the Viennese Actionism of the 1960s, which employed the human body in disturbing and seemingly destructive ways--nudity, blood, violence- -to rebel against conservatism and traditional beauty. No less vigorous for its greater measure, Belle’s photographs emphasize an exploration of the human psyche with insight to be gained through amusement and pleasure. By exposing herself as a lone figure, accomplishing feats of household playfulness, she lets us know that we are not alone.


Nicole Belle was born in 1977 in Dayton, Ohio. She received her B.A. in French literature from New York University, a B.F.A. in fine art photography from the Rochester Institute of Technology, and her M.F.A. in visual art at the University of California, Riverside. In New York she studied at the School for Visual Arts and worked in the Associated Press photography department. Her work has been shown in the Los Angeles area at Sandroni.Rey, High Energy Constructs, Torrance Art Museum, the New Wight Gallery at University California, Los Angeles, the Riverside Art Museum; also in California the Brand Gallery, Glendale; the Millard Sheets Gallery, Pomona; Sweeney Art Gallery, Riverside and the California State University, Long Beach Galleries, as well as in various group shows in Rochester, New York, and Minneapolis, Minnesota. Belle currently lives and works in Los Angeles.