It is often more difficult to be alone than to be with company, especially in a space made intentionally for couples…Err, for coupling. But for British artist Juno Calypso, there is something eerily magical in the trope of the love motel.
That John Waters-esque air of desperation and lewdness called to the artist, who flew to Pennsylvania and waited in a rural diner for The Love Bus to whisk her away to a honeymoon hotel where she would spend a week alone. Calypso, a self-portrait artist, spent this time setting up tableaux and photographing her alter-ego, Joyce, a sort of Amazonian version of Gerri Blank.
The results – hours of setup for each shot, including one where Calypso covers herself in green body paint – show a woman that is both possessed of her own sexuality and deeply lonely at once. And perhaps this has something to do with the actuality of the honeymoon hotel. According to Calypso, the place didn’t seem to be inspiring much wantonness in its inhabitants:
This has only fueled Calypso to pursue the project further, as she plans to take her one-woman tour of love hotels on the road, stopping in Russia, Bulgaria, Japan, and beyond.