Photography: AJ Silistrie’s “Heart Opening”—Motivation and Motif


ACUBIEN’s editor-in-chief Gus Franklyn-Bute writes about Guadeloupean visual artist AJ Silistrie, whose debut collection, “Heart Opening” was exhibited in late 2013 at the African and African-Caribbean Design Diaspora (AACDD) festival at Oxo Tower Wharf along the south bank of The Thames, London. Here are excerpts of his observations on Silistrie’s artwork:

Heart Opening’ transits between two core themes: people and nature, employing a unique, creative technique which combines photography and prose, where words and sentences are delicately and seamlessly layered into the visuals to construct gentle illusionary allegories.

Perhaps the secret to understanding both motivation and key motifs driving the creativity of AJ Silistrie’s visual artistry is hidden in quotations on her website [AJ Silistrie Photography]. AJ Silistrie quote Arnold Newman, the American photographer famed for “environmental portraits” and still life abstracts, who said: “Photography, as we all know, is not real.  It is an illusion of reality with which we create our own private world.”

AJ Silistrie’s photographs are framed with equivocation and an illusory depth. The talented, self-taught artist, who mysteriously introduces herself as ‘simply’ AJ, consistently presents a body of work which exudes an aura of curiosity and provocation.  The narrative of this French-Guadeloupean, who resides and works in London, compels you to embark on an introspective journey. You are lured into visual explication which is at once an awakening and an engagement with the artist’s personal thoughts, observations and travails.

AJ Silistrie’s Limited Edition art are available for purchase online at SAATCHI ART Online. See the artist’s website at

For full review, see

Photo above: AJ Silistrie’s “Symphonie”

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