Artist's Statement

Nika de Carlo

C-Print(s), 11x14 I am a survivor of the opioid crisis. “See You In Heaven” started as a self-documentary. My camera first became a tool to examine and reason with myself and my addiction, and grew into a tool of comfort, escape, confusion, and desperation. Throughout my addiction, I turned my camera on others who were also entrapped in it: lovers, best friends, and a few strangers who I could feel an unspoken connection with. I chose to photograph these individuals as a means to cope and to better understand the heart of the disease and most importantly, the power it contained. As all of us shared the same common “illness”, I found myself discovering a common theme: loss. Whether I photographed myself or another person, I found myself reflecting the images in the same way. In the manipulative heart of addiction, love for another and love for oneself is overpowered, emptying one’s morals and refilling it with a venomous weight of losing all control as well as others around you. Each subject I photographed seemed to have contained this in their eyes - a specific loss and a particular type of pain that I knew too well. Through photographing myself and my subjects repetitively, I found myself gaining some control back. After years of photographing these subjects, I have compiled a body of work that is “See You In Heaven”, a tender and honest depiction of myself and others who have lived through the grip of addiction, some escaping and some staying. This body of work continues to expand as I continue to record myself and others.