"Empyrean" Self Portrait Photograph By PhenomenaLewis (Lewis Derogene) made in 2020
Inner Dialogue series
15.7in x 20in
Limited Edition of 5
"Empyrean" a self-portrait photograph by PhenomenaLewis photographed in her bedroom in May of 2020 and it shows PhenomenaLewis, a dark-skinned Black woman with exaggerated dark skin with and orange turban and lipstick against a star filled night sky with a moon center placed above her head.
When I photographed Empyrean I had just moved back to Connecticut from Brooklyn in 2020 at the start of the pandemic.
I wanted to continue with self-portraiture and being that my room was slightly smaller than the one I had in Brooklyn, I was stressed. I couldn't figure out a way to continue this exploration of self.
That's when I decided to use the angled walls to my attic bedroom to pin bedsheets and blankets for backgrounds to make editing easier.
In post-production I was just thinking about the night sky because here in Connecticut, I can see the stars better than I did in NYC and it brought a sublime feeling over me.
It felt so calming that without using any substance I felt above the influence. It felt magical and I wanted that to be reflected with this self-portrait.
Empyrean, the title of this piece means the highest part of heaven.