The Creators Being Created: The Photography of 18-Year-Old Morgan Dezurn


Morgan Dezurn is an eighteen-year-old with a camera, and she wants you to know that there exists a stark difference between a picture and a photograph. A picture is the functionary output of a camera. A photograph is the delicate offspring of intention, a fleeting essence or moment achieving permanence through the dynamic cooperation of  mind, eye, and the  instinct to press a button. According to Dezurn, a picture can only become a photograph if it exudes some sort of truth. Dezurn’s truth is her experience as a Black woman, who, in her own words, is “hell-bent” on photographing marginalized groups and people.

The following photographs by Dezurn are interested particularly in what happens when those who are creating find themselves the subject of creation. Immediately there is a sense of vulnerability. But, as Dezurn reminds us, it is a vulnerability that all artists knew well when they first began the strenuous process of creation, which often includes doubt and anxiety mixing with a youthful hope and innovation. It is a vulnerability important to all artwork that sometimes we forget once we become the masters of our own craft.

Dezurn’s photographs are carefully composed, poignant, and turn a sharp eye on some sharp women. She describes the process of “creating the creators” as illuminating. In her own words: “It [becomes] more apparent how much the artist relates to their medium. The illustrators I have photographed are very fluid, moving from one pose to another and kept their bodies in abstract poses. The photographers I have photograph tend to lean on me to tell them their poses, like it’s an unspoken rule that we both know to follow. Lastly, the musicians I have photograph tend to be bouncy and loud, their photographs looking like stills from a performance.”

Dezurn is talented; one can hardly believe that she is just eighteen-years-old. She speaks with a mission, and approaches her photographs with such dedication to this mission that it leaves you wondering where she siphons off all the teen self-doubt. Roundtable Journal is proud to showcase some of Dezurn's images, and we're hopeful that she may share with us her secret to confident creation.

Sarah Adler