Dianne Blell is a New York based photographer specializing in mythology and subjective reality photography. She received her BFA and MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute. She has been exhibiting her work since the 1970s. She has received the Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant, the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship, and several other awards.
Blell’s work concerns stories of love, relationships, and intimacy, more specifically the compelling forces of yearning, desire, and the romantic pursuit of “ideal” love. Her most recent series, Desire for the Intimate Deity, investigates the universality of the idealized stages of courtship in the socio-ethnic and religious based mythology of Hindu folklore. She uses Rada and Krishna as her central characters, whom, in the pursuit of love, represent mythological archetypes of the human condition. Blell’s narratives also portray the lovers’ search for the ideal union with the divine. They are consciously styled after Moghul miniature paintings, and the models and locations are familiar to those who know traditional Indian paintings.
Blell’s photographic narratives are produced, designed, painted, and constructed in the studio. She paints the sets, costumes the models, and builds the stages. The background sets and the subjects are photographed separately in large format 4x5 film and then elaborately assembled on her desktop into final compositions. The series of Rada and Krishna stories has been a project that has taken ten years to realize.