Inspired by childhood fairytales, stories and myths, Damla Tokcan Faro’s photographs come to life through an interaction of these tales and realities of daily life. She examines the significance of these stories to the adult world. These stories that are heard from a very young age are tales that mould a person morally, socially and emotionally. Each piece of the fable is complex, rife with double meanings, and can embody multiple interpretations.
“Manipulating fairy-tales and stories is what I do now with my photos and installations,” Faro explains. “My main concern is the female characters in these stories; the question is: why are they made to wait for a male figure to come along to save them? If I were Rapunzel, I would have cut my own hair and climbed down that tower.” Cheeky, political, and imaginative, Faro’s work calls the viewer to question contemporary notions of femininity, as well as the reasons why they continue to proliferate.
Born in Ankara, Turkey, but growing up in the magical city of Istanbul, Damla was more apt to frolic throughout the urban landscape than stay indoors and play with dolls. Upon reading Lewis Carroll’s classic story about the girl who fell down the rabbit hole, Alice in Wonderland, Damla became mesmerized by the chaotic and peculiar fantasy world created in Carroll’s tale. “I loved the element of total imagination,” she states.
Educated in Boston, Ankara, London, and Chicago, Damla’s worldly view has influenced her photography through the play with perspective. In works from her Focus series, various landscapes are distorted so that only a finite space is actually in focus. The artist seeks to play with the viewer’s eye, send it searching across the frame in order to find its divining point. Fernando Luis Alvarez, one of Damla’s contemporaries and gallerist, says her work “perpetuates a sardonic, fanciful story of how our eye manages to amaze and fool us. The imaginative photo illustrations playfully invite one to delve into the work, and take part in this vivid journey that easily relates to a Where’s Waldo-like experience.”
Damla currenltly lives in the picturesque Notting Hill section of North London with her husband, David, 3-year-old son, Aksel, and cat, Kedi.