"Ilene #0196" is part of a series of images in Ilene's home with her belongings titled "Vignettes: Ilene." This is part of a larger ongoing personal series entitled "Vignettes," which consists of portraits of people in their environments. Subjects are simply people I come across in my day to day life with whom I feel a strong connection. The project continues to evolve and take shape with motion and copy.
Ilene is a pillar in whichever community she joins and describes herself as a: Community Activist, Volunteer, NYT Best Selling Author, Two-time Widow, Owner of the largest private collection of handbag/purses in the world, Art Collector, Fashion Designer, Consultant, Jewelry Designer, and Collector of Vintage Clothing and Accessories. Her home itself is a unique museum piece and I wanted to showcase Ilene's one-of-a-kind possessions that have come to define her.
While touring her home, Ilene shared an image she took with her phone from this very room, looking out the window showing a magnificent view of Lehigh Valley during a snow storm. What was so intriguing about her photo was that there was a deer looking directly at her from the window in an almost unnerving way. This hatched the idea of having her outside looking in–a stranger on her own property. The room is filled pieces from her significant and diverse art collection. As a common friend once expressed, "Ilene could find valuable items in any environment; she just knows what to look for."
Ilene's possessions tell a story within themselves and this image was a different approach to taking a portrait. With her standing in the window looking in, it feels as if she's the one in a glass box rather than her collections.