Hannah Kozak

Photographer
     
Pain and Loneliness
Location: Los Angeles, California
Nationality: American
Biography: Hannah Kozak was born to a Polish father and a Guatemalan mother in Los Angeles, California.  At the age of ten, she was given a Kodak Brownie camera by her father, Sol, a survivor of the Nazi concentration camps and began instinctively... read on
Public Story
Pain and Loneliness
Credits: hannah kozak
Date of Work: 12/31/69 - 12/31/69
Updated: 06/21/17

One sentence project summary: I made these nude self-portraits through the collapse of several relationships as a way to process my pain and loneliness.

Artist Statement - Pain and Loneliness

I am an extremely private, concealed person, and I never allowed myself to be vulnerable.My whole life I have played the tough girl: for twenty-five years I earned my living as a Hollywood stuntwoman. In relationships I mastered the sweep-you-off-your-feet, typically male role of the pursuer; and in my family there was so much dysfunction that I learned how to bury my feelings. Expressing tender emotions or being vulnerable was never an option in any part of my life…until I fell in love.

It wasn’t the “being in love” that softened my hard exterior, it was when my love was nolonger reciprocated. Being rejected re-opened my childhood wound of abandonment andthrew me into an emotional tailspin. From there it was a short trip to shattered self-worth, obsession and then depression. At these times, at my deepest, darkest lows, when I was most vulnerable, I reached for the camera. These images are not about sexuality but rather vulnerability.

Rather than run from the depths of my loneliness, or revert to obsessive-compulsive or self-abusive behaviors, I chose to turn into the pain, let my guard down and surrenderin front of the camera lens. My hope is these photos withhold as much information as they give. These un-retouched photos remind me how brave it is to be revealing, honest, and raw while showing my soft, feminine, vulnerable side. Instead of focusing on being naked, which is accidental, I like to think of the portraits as nudes, which are purposeful, powerful and with intention. Exposing myself with such truth and authenticity is empowering and my way of telling my psyche that I am okay.

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