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Works of Truth

WEB-EXCLUSIVE: Photographer Naida Osline sees art in life's challenges.

Naida Osline

If you’re interested in contributing to one of
Osline’s latest projects, send her an e-mail
at oslinestudio@gmail.com or call
714.794.8695. All information shared with
Osline for her artwork will remain confidential.   

Now through Jan. 15, 2012, visit California
State University, Fullerton’s Grand Central
Art Center to view and experience some of
her most current artwork firsthand.  

Closed Mondays and holidays;
Tuesdays-Thursdays and
Sundays 11 a.m.-4 p.m.;
Fridays and Saturdays 11 a.m.-7 p.m.;
First Saturday of the month, galleries
are open until 10 p.m.
:: grandcentralartcenter.com

We all have obstacles to overcome and challenges to work through – often experiences that seem important only to us. But they do matter to Naida Osline, who considers these everyday trials nothing short of art.

"I think that [my inspiration] stems from a need to make something that is a reflection of my world and to then share that with other people," says Osline.

An active local photographer, she is currently seeking volunteers for two projects that have been her central focus for the past two years: one of them involves photographing middle-aged men and the second focuses on experiences that individuals have had with mind-altering substances.

“Any middle-aged man who wants to experience the reality of being a model in a photo studio and is willing to take their shirt off, I hope you will contact me,” says Osline, who has been invited to exhibit her work at the California State University, Fullerton Grand Central Art Center in Santa Ana. “Middle age, however you define it, is an interesting time in life. It is not only a time of general physical and mental health, but also a time when you can feel your vulnerability in a different way than before. There is no escaping your mortality when you are in middle age.”

When photographing the men, Osline says she combines the concepts of aging, masculinity, power, fashion, and formal portraiture. As of now, Osline has completed 12 images. The artwork, including Alex (pictured), is available for viewing at the art center.

“In these images of middle-aged men, each subject is paired with a singular object that is meant to project power such as a king, prince or warrior,” she says. “They have a kinship sensibility with portrait paintings of the past that depict individuals of power and economic wealth.”

For her second project, Osline showcases experiences that individuals have had with substances that took them to a new level of consciousness. Examples include tobacco, cannabis and opium poppies. “[The project] is about working with plants that have been deeply intertwined with our human economic, legal, cultural, and moral framework," she says. “They have made us sick, high, addicted, awestruck, apathetic, focused, scared, sexy, stupid, enlightened, and dead. I am intrigued by how we humans can involve ourselves in an intimate relationship with a plant.”

Osline is in search of first-person narratives from individuals who have had a relationship with any kind of mind-altering substance, ranging from alcohol and tobacco to LSD; she is also interested in individual accounts of rituals, chants or meditations.

Born in Canada, Osline, her parents and her sister moved to Orange County when she was in elementary school. She graduated from Cal State Fullerton with a bachelor’s degree in studio art, with an emphasis in photography. Before taking up art as a full-time profession, she worked for the cities of Fullerton and Huntington Beach, where she held arts administration positions.

"I hope that people walk away thinking that my work is successful on a visual level, since that is my intention," she says. "I am personally looking for a combination of beauty and rawness and I have a tendency toward bold, iconic imagery."

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