The Daring Magazine

Magazine
    
Biography: Celebrating collisions between art and life. Welcome to an art and culture magazine for introspective, playful, and provocative thinking about the intersection between art and life in the world today. An internet garden, if you will. We are in a... MORE
Media News
Seeing the Mind: A Narrative Photo Essay About Mental Health
the daring magazine
Sep 6, 2021
Location: New York City

“I’m making photographs to break the stigma around depression and anxiety,” says Fabric Of Affliction creator Andy Maticorena Kajie


The sky hangs low, and slate clouds are barreling in above South Orange. Neighbors’ dogs are barking in unison as if they’re all in on some ancient secret. Either some poor cat’s on the run, or we’re in for a deluge.

Andy Maticorena Kajie appears on screen just as the skies let loose. He’s wearing a black T-shirt and is smoothly settled into his chair. Andy — who’s coming off his first solo show at Greenhive Studio in Union City and whose work explores the human condition from the bleak to the sublime — is a reserved guy. A small smile curves his lips as he speaks in a lilting rhythm, and a pair of retro square frames give his warm and intellectual presence a sharp finish. There’s a mellow enthusiasm about him, tempered by a bassy voice, which frees him to connect with people within worlds of darkness. In that realm, unflinching, Andy’s found his niche.
 
Through high school, Andy faced mental health issues, and rather than shrinking from the struggle, he mined it for his work. The darkness that pervades Fabric of Affliction, his recently exhibited series, isn’t incidental. He carefully emulsifies the foggy dream of a Brassaï night scene with the edginess of today’s existential angst, not shying away from the macabre. Often, his subjects are frozen in isolation. There’s a photo of two people on a bed, where one’s face is covered by a flowing scarf, and the other holds a bouquet of sunflowers. In another, moody and tenebristic, a scarf flows from a young man’s neck. It’s almost balletic. He titled it Noose. Intense, yes. And yet, I sense that peak Andy Maticorena Kajie that I’m to experience in our second conversation today is mountain-like. Waves of emotion run subterranean beneath the scapes. His stillness springs into full expression in pictures though, where every scene is a haunting look into the back alleys of our mind. Andy’s visual poetics show the inner world we want to forget.

He photographed much of the project with friends in New York City. “I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else,” waxes Andy, swaying his posture as rain pelts the trees outside. Though Andy grew up in New Jersey, he took a bus or train into New York regularly to make pictures, and this is where he trained his eye — taking him to School of Visual Arts over a year ago. Day by day, he’s assembling a bigger and fuller story that — if he keeps going, which he plans to — can deliver a message that every one of us feels the weight of darkness, and we can talk about it without fear or shame.

Read the story on The Daring

Content warning: This article deals with suicide, depression, and anxiety

This story is part of Spotlight, a series of conversations on The Daring. Every month, our editor sits down with a leading light from the world of visual storytelling for an in-depth conversation about their creative process and most moving work.
Andy Kajie: A Narrative Photo Essay About Mental Health | The Daring
In this narrative photo essay, photographer Andy Maticorena Kajie breaks the stigma around depression and anxiety in a time when it's believed that roughly 1 in 10 people suffers from a mental health illness.
Thedaring.co
LinkedIn Icon Facebook Icon Twitter Icon
1,338

Also by The Daring Magazine —

Featured Film

Rachel Wyman’s Meditative Return to Her Most Natural State

Leah Elimeliah / New York City
Media

Trigger Warning: No Person Is Above the Law (Or, Why the Attorney General’s Constitutional Law Professor Laurence Tribe Thinks Trump Is Guilty)

Jason Reuven Kropsky / Washington, D.C.
Media

The Daring: Bully, Inc. (Or, How Trump Failed to Strong-Arm the Justice Department and Why He Should Be Jailed)

Jason Reuven Kropsky for The Daring Magazine / Washington, D.C.
Media

Gaslighting the Vice President (Or, Why Trump Doesn’t Want to Be Mike Pence’s Friend, Anyway)

Jason Reuven Kropsky / Washington, D.C.
Media

Joan Baez Strikes a New Chord With a Dylan Classic | The Daring

Josh Friedberg / Chicago, IL
News Published

“You Hear All the Time, Animals Have No Voice. It’s True.”: Linda Kuo on Portraying Wildlife

Jason Reuven Kropsky / New York City
Media News Published

Tomboy: Toward a More Expansive Definition of Womanhood

Chidinma Divine Iwu / Abia, Nigeria
Media News Published

The Art of Painting a New York That No Longer Exists

The Daring Magazine / New York City
Media News Published

Thank you!

The Daring Magazine / South Orange, N.J.
Media News

Inside Anna King’s Photos of Pleasure and Tedium

The Daring Magazine / New York City
Media News

The Daring Magazine: The Ghost of Jimi Hendrix in Electric Ladyland

Jason Reuven Kropsky for The Daring Magazine / Seattle, Washington
Media News

The Daring Magazine: Nicholas Loffredo Is Broadening the Definition of Queerness

The Daring Magazine / New York City
News Videos

Pace University x Brooklyn Raga Massive Music Series: Ben Tyree and Sameer Gupta

Ben Tyree & Sameer Gupta / New York City
News Spotlight

They Don’t Have to Be Friends

Rahima Rice for The Daring Magazine / Washington, D.C.
Media News

The Plight and the Path: At the Intersection of Race and Gender

Rahima Rice for The Daring Magazine / Washington, D.C.
Media News

More Sex, Less Playdates

Rahima Rice for The Daring Magazine / Washington, D.C.
Media News

A New Kind of Historical Record

The Daring Magazine / New York City
Featured Film News Videos

A Conversation Between Musicians: Shelley Nicole and Ben Tyree

The Daring Magazine / New York City
News

Homeless

Rashad Dobbins for The Daring Magazine / Washington, D.C.
Events News

The Daring partners with Visura and announces the 2021-2022 Open Call for Women and Non-binary Visual Storytellers

The Daring Magazine / South Orange, N.J.
Media News

"Kolkata's Ethnicity is Within People in Small Areas": Akshat Bagla on Local Storytelling

The Daring Magazine / New York City
News

Meet Photographer Aileen Barney Whose Images Preserve the Fading Circus Industry

The Daring Magazine / South Orange, N.J.
Events News

Coming Up: WordShedNYC Reading Series & Open Mic

The Daring Magazine / Zoom
News

Writer and MC Rashad Dobbins joins The Daring community as first guest poet

The Daring Magazine / South Orange, N.J.
Seeing the Mind: A Narrative Photo Essay About Mental Health by The Daring Magazine
Join us
For more access