Originally published September 16, 2010.
Discovered by a European modeling scout early on, jet-setting around the world, and eventually launching into art-stardom—Tierney Gearon is spinning and glowing, unstoppable. From the outside in, it all sounds terribly glamorous. Beneath that seeming perfection is someone whose creativity has been shaped by challenges and disappointments and who is also refreshingly forthcoming about the lows that shadow the highs—falling in love and the subsequent heart-breaking divorce, the joy of being a parent and the difficulty of doing it on her own (with no small amount of noise from the peanut gallery), and confronting her manic-depressive, schizophrenic mother—Tierney is human.
Vulnerable but buoyant, resilient, she's moved through all of this, creating critically-acclaimed and often controversial work: I Am a Camera, which features her children, The Mother Project, a frank exploration of her emotional journey with her own mother, and Explosure. One part reality, two parts fantasy, Explosure is created with in-camera double exposures, the images carry Tierney's bright colors and chaos, conflating people—lovers, mothers and offspring—and places—implying travel while putting here and there on the same plane. Children become adults, adults become children, the organic and man-made collide. The images, ephemeral and surreal, are, as she says, "a celebration of a world that is crashing and blossoming at the same time."
The edges of this world are raw and salted, sometimes sharply disturbing. But they exist in the embrace that everything is always changing, we are covering great distances—geographic, psychological and emotional—between the people we love the most, and most often misunderstand, perpetually unsettled in time, place and state. Grassy Girl is a modern day Dorothy, brazen and confident, basking—there's no place like here.