Anna Krachey uses photography to transcend everyday objects into highly visceral experiences that encourage viewers to reconsider their otherwise commonplace functions. Her source material includes still-lives, abstractions of household objects and detail shots of found imagery. A cupcake wrapper becomes a floating raft; a patch of denim turns from fabric into a magical black and white apparition. Objects that might otherwise be overlooked are given careful consideration.
Krachey selects objects to photograph based what she sees as their “material value” over their function. A palm tree stump, for example, is not seen as something that once provided shade, but instead as a mysterious sculpture, devoid of its assumed context. “My images,” says Krachey “reimagine something very banal and exceedingly familiar into something slightly more intriguing...still familiar but more disconcerting.” Krachey often uses a 4x5 camera, not only for its acute ability to render color, detail and psychological space, but also for its tendency to alter her personal experience of photographing objects. “The upside down viewing process of the large format camera allows me to disconnect from my subject matter, and the detail and color rendered on sheet film allows for nearly hyperbolic tactility.”
Krachey is one of several photographers working today whose work is not divided into specific projects, and instead exists as a catalog of images that shape a continuous, open-ended practice. While this might initially sound uncertain, it’s helped her to more acutely articulate her relationship to her subject matter. “My impulse that things are connected is far more intelligent than my conscious ability to put to and two together.” Says Krachey. “Erasing the lines between bodies of work and start and completion allows me to just make work”
She cites artists Kate Steciw and Roe Ethridge as helping her come to this place in her practice – Steciw mainly for helping her realize that it was unnecessary to follow any specific rules when making work, and Ethridge, whose book Rockaway, NY helped to encourage a spontaneous layer to her image making. For Krachey, Rockaway, NY is a constant reminder to let photographic impulse drive her work, over whether an image fits into a predefined project. “You just shoot it anyway and figure out why it works later. The ability to have these subconscious connective impulses to make pictures that don’t consciously connect until later in my process (sometimes A LOT later) is one of the most exciting things to me about making work.”
Ultimately, Krachey’s break from a project-specific practice has helped her to further define her work and its interconnectedness. Her practice has evolved into a continuous grouping of images that use odd vantage points and unconventional setups to flip the familiar into a strange and unexpected vision.
“We live around objects everyday and in a way are desensitized to their presence. When I turn focus towards an object, I seek to examine the form, function, and existence of commonplace items by funneling in a strange, yet more abstract component that engages a viewer. The camera is a catalyst for bringing attention to and providing an experience with these objects in ways that force the objects to reveal something previously unconsidered."
Anna Krachey was born in 1979 in Nashua, New Hampshire and received her MFA in photography from The University of Texas at Austin in 2008. Her work has been featured in 15 to Watch: New Art in Austin at Austin Museum of Art, 31 Women in Contemporary Art Photography at Humble Arts Foundation at Affirmation Arts in New York, and Always the Young Strangers at Higher Pictures in New York. Krachey currently lives in Austin, where she is a lecturer in photography at St. Edwards University and a member of the photography collective Lakes Were Rivers.