Maren Celest

IL
Author: maren celest
Credits: maren celest

Maren Celest, direct result of a moment of passion on February 2nd, born October 29th, 1987. Currently Chicago-based.

  It is a funny urge to create and record, a very human thing that marks and makes existence seem more meaningful or understandable, remembers things for us, points out magic or progress, subtleties, wrongs or rights.

 I am a storyteller. I tell stories with photography, music, films and illustration. I have always had certain strange themes in my life and the need to recreate them in my work. I started as an illustrator, following in my mother's footsteps, and when I was about 16 I discovered that I could use my camera to make my illustrations an actual moment in time. It was an excuse to bring mysterious things to life, to surprise and remind others (and myself) of how much awe should live in even day-to-day life. Our world is otherworldly. The sheer existence of things is miraculous. It is important to not forget. It is important to be in the habit of being surprised.

When I was 20 I worked in an independent lab and was given access to developing my own color film. I went wild, shooting and experimenting. I found film to be a perfect medium, because not only could I create surreal images, the process itself had a magic element of surprise and anticipation that I hoped would translate into my work. A huge part of my job at the lab was scanning family's old slides + film, and developing photographs for the police and fire departments. I saw into so many lives and I saw so much death. Beautiful strangers' memories and reminders of our abrupt mortality. In my own life, I had experienced much of this early on, some of those closest to me had chronic illness and some passed away. My own mother actually was pronounced dead in our home and was revived 27 minutes later when I was in fifth grade. Reality seemed unreal... it became my obsession to create appreciation for the wonder that worships life. For me, this meant being in awe and aware of my own mortality. Like bigness and smallness at the same time. I believe the more we comprehend life the more we realize that it is incomprehensible, and that true consciousness would be simple, crippling, immutable awe.

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