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ABOUT BEING SEEN

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During my Xmas holidays in Barcelona I met my dear friend Luis Fortes, fashion designer, who gave me this series of pictures he took of me and my boyfriend around 1978 at his boyfriend's home. At the time my boyfriend and me had been on heroin already for one year. I was sixteen and he was eighteen. I had quit my mom's house and went to live with him and other friends. It got worse later on, we lost our friends and fell into a bottomless pit. We tried to stop several times but it didn't work. One day my sister told me my Dad didn't want to see me anymore. I didn't realize this back then, but this pushed me to leave my boyfriend and quit drugs. I didn't really want to destroy my life. I wanted to get attention from my family. I wanted to be seen.

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Why seen? I felt invisible, 5th in a family of 6 sisters, after my parents separation and my mother's depression. But the problem of being seen started many years before this...

When I was born in 1962, I was the fifth of six sisters. I had all the attention from my sisters, my aunts, my father, our baby-sitter and most important of all, my mother. I felt like a queen... until my youngest sister Ana was born. Everybody's attention went naturally to the newborn baby. Suddenly I felt invisible, so I started to feel inadequate, unworthy of love, and this feeling has never left me completely...

Whenever a camera was pointed at me I was thrilled and I immediately tried to establish a special relationship with the camera lense. But when Ana was around, she always happened to get into the way... 

This is why, in 1988, after 5 years of heroin, 1,5 years in a rehab centre and 2 years of psychotherapy, I started taking self-portraits. I needed to see myself, to give myself the attention I needed so much, to reproduce my mother's look. 

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