Isis, Charise

Charise Isis, Kingston NY, USA

Isis Charise has been working in the field of photography for over thirteen years.
Isis’ work has been widely exhibited both nationally, and internationally including solo exhibits at such galleries such as the Michael Mazzeo Gallery (NYC); The Griffin Museum of Photography (Winchester, MA); and The Center for Photography at
Woodstock (Woodstock NY).

Her work has been featured in publications such as Photography Quarterly Magazine, NY, Profifoto Magazine, Germany, NY Arts Magazine and on the acclaimed international photography website, Zone Zero.

Isis’ work is included in numerous public and private collections including those of the Museum of Fine Arts, (Houston, TX); CPW’s Permanent Print Collection held on extended loan at the Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art (New Paltz, NY).

Isis’ current project “Grace” features portraits of women who have had mastectomy surgery in order to survive Breast Cancer.  These are sensitive collaborations between Isis and her subjects affirming their courage, grace, beauty and life.
“Grace” has 501(c)3 status (not for profit) through the Artspire fiscal sponsorship program supported by New York Foundation for the Arts.

American Stripper

For the last twelve years, I have worked on and off in the world of exotic dance (strip clubs). It is a world harshly judged by the mainstream and generally negatively depicted by the media. Strippers are often viewed as dysfunctional people on the fringe of society.

Throughout my career as a dancer I have come to know some very powerful and creative women. I have witnessed deeply moving and healing experiences and I have seen a great deal of beauty and strength within this industry.

Five years ago, I began photographing the women that I work with.  At first, I wondered if I should photograph every aspect of this world, including the stereotypical “bad stuff” (exploited women with low self esteem), but I realized that I do not view the dancers in this way. Dysfunction exists within the world of exotic dance as it does in every aspect of our society, however it is not the negative things that stay with me, but rather the humanity that constantly disrobes itself alongside the women.

I have therefore chosen to focus my lens on the performance aspect of this world where women express so much - dressing and undressing their bodies, dressing and undressing their souls. The women I work with are extremely supportive of my work. They are inspired by my photographs and I am honored by their trust.