"Humans have an innate need for self-expression in order to encourage their feeling of purpose-- of necessary existence. We walk through our lives touching and changing things to make the world our own. It's what the ego likes. It's how we feel ok. All of my energy was previously directed towards exploration and travel. My personal form of self expression; of motivation and purpose. I was constantly buying international plane tickets to marinate in a culture-- a world-- vastly different from my own safe and familiar nest. In early 2017 I crashed a motorcycle in Vietnam and was left with debilitating nerve pain that completely pivoted my life's trajectory. I could no longer work, let alone sit down for extended periods of time-- an unfortunately prerequisite for travel. My light was blotted and my only means of energetic-appropriation-to-combat-the-funk was lost. I didn't know where to aim, and I was in constant pain. I organically turned to photography in the form of self-portraiture, something that supported my need for solitude and introspection, and the magic flowed. I felt occupied again.
The nudity came first. I started hanging out in nude sanctuaries, with like-minded friends, and going out in the forest to run around uninhibited and alone. Then I started shooting what I was already doing. I spent a lot of time naked focusing on rebuilding my relationship with my own body, and capturing these moments only further validated my endeavors. We are on a fast and easy course to becoming strangers to our own selves. There is a pill for everything. To be successful, safe, and unchallenged is to go through the hollow motions and hope that no one actually figures you out. With nudity, there are fewer places to hide. No amount of expensive fabrics can cover up your shame. This way of being serves as a foundational catalyst to befriending your darkest parts and watching them change under playful supervision. Fear of sexualization falls to the wayside. Anyone who misses the point is in another place on their own journey. We might not even be able to understand each other.
Our bodies serve as a boundary, a threshold, between the inner and outer worlds. Whatever happens within is carefully curated for the outside world by way of your body through self expression. Whatever happens on the outside is experienced by your body and digested by your inner self. This constant flow trades information back and forth to create the human experience, all while the world experiences you. Under the playful, meaningful, uninhibited guise of artistic expression, I don't have to feel the same anxiety that is interwoven with everything else human. Just as there is no room to question "Why," there is no objective aim with art. Nothing to judge against. Art is safe.
Now, I find myself motivated in equal parts by both the freedom and sanctity associated with nudity as well as the art that I get to make and bring home to share with others. I can say with certainty that my new means have been monumental to my personal mental and physical health. I hope to influence a few others to get to know themselves by dropping their pants and playing outside"
Prana Machine, 2019