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Recent News Stories from PRnetwire >> News Article

Edited by Christopher Simmons, senior news editor


UNDER MY SKIN, photographs by Cynthia Zordich
October 1 - 31 One Oxford Center. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Images and testimonials of women and breast cancer awareness.

Pittsburgh, PA -- (SEND2PRESS NEWSWIRE via PRNetwire) -- September 7, 2002 -- "When Tom Mosser invited me to show my work at the Mosser Gallery & Studio," says photographer Zordich, "I think it only took three minutes before I knew what kind of images I would show. Tom was quite familiar with my black and white sideline player portraits -- but life was pulling my work in another direction."

UNDER MY SKIN is a series of intimate photographs of the women in my life. Women who were first girls to me. Girls that I have known since the second grade,the seventh grade, high school, college. My girls. My request to them? Share what you're feeling inside. My demand? Don't call me until your ready. Ready to be honest no matter what the consequence -- no matter what the reaction.

Conversations leading to the shoots became more therapeutic than I'd expected. Expressions of fear, awkwardness and inhibition needed nurturing. Modesty, graciousness and discretion would be my largest obstacles. I was beginning to realize that even the best of friends aren't always on the same page.

In the fall of 1998 I had an 8, 7 and 5 yr. old, a book ready for publication and a husband playing in the NFL. In the midst of all that wonderful chaos -- entered yet another persona with erratic energy, an insatiable appetite for s-e-x and the need for fun fun fun with the number one priority of looking great great great. It was me.

Shortly after expressing my concerns to my friend (who is on the same page)Jackie, I got a call from the unexpected. It was Renee and she was ready. We would shoot at Jake's on Friday.

Check list: gear, 4 backdrops, 2 studio lights, 2 reflectors, fogger, fun clothes, cigarettes, chocolates, wine.

I had everything and we used it all.

Cindy Red came to do her make up. We were four girls, and of us, Renee was the most demure, most responsible, least likely to draw attention to herself. She was the role model for appropriateness and had been all her life.

ZERO inhibition, lazy eyes, white sheets, cigarettes. A cross between a smile and a smirk. Renee looked different. Something inside was changing her and I was getting it all on film. It was a slow motion shoot that lasted until 2:00 am when she could hardly stand and Jake and Red had no voice left from sudden outbursts of appreciation. We needed to call it a night, but didn't want to see it end. We wanted an encore.

All we could do is stay up all night, in awe, to talk about what had just happened.

It was Renee that happened. Turning herself inside out -- she was comfortable, cool and flawless. And she set precedence for the show. Knowing Renee and seeing Renee on my invitations created quite a buzz. She was aloof and didn't give a damn. Because of her, the objectives for the shoots that followed were made very clear-- Give all-- or give nothing at all. No surprise to me -- they took the dare.

Winter was filled with weekly doses of uniformity and celebration. Sometimes, there was so much energy ricocheting off the walls, I swore it would show up on my film and distort my pics. There were a few, too, who weren't buying into it and I was glad, for their cynicism only added dimension to the show. Girls began to share their experiences with their outside circles-- instead of 18, there would be many more. I decided not to get stuck on a number. Every shoot was a life and every life was intriguing. UNDER MY SKIN was opening minds, causing arguments, and moving. Yes, MOVING.

Since its opening in May 2002 UNDER MY SKIN has raised significant funds for breast cancer research, namely the Susan G. Komen Foundation on behalf of Candy Eazor(Pa.) and Elaine D'Alesio (Ohio). Sponsors include: Christina Lurie of the Philadelphia Eagles, Denise DeBartolo York of the San Francisco 49ers, Simon Roofing, Wright Industries, WSB Rehab, Warren Printing and JP Industrial Products. Efforts from committee members including: Jacqueline Flanagan, Renee Halfhill, Cynthia Cappuccio Nied, Tina Toscani combined to make Under My Skin an exhibit that celebrated a life and a fight and the awesome diversity of womanhood. Self-written profiles of each of the girls complement the up-front nature of the project.

UNDER MY SKIN will run thru the month of October (national breast cancer awareness month) at One Oxford Center in Pittsburgh.

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