Melissa Spitz (b.1988) is a working artist from St. Louis, Missouri, who currently resides in Brooklyn, New York.
She received her BFA from the University of Missouri-Columbia and her MFA from the Savannah College of Art and Design. Melissa is the recipient of Magnum’s Inge Morath Award, recognizing a female photographer under the age of 30. She was named Instagram Photographer of 2017 by TIME Magazine and recently received an honorable mention from the Photographic Museum of Humanity for the 2018 Women Photographers Grant.
Melissa closed her first solo exhibition at the SCAD Museum of Art in the Spring of 2018. Her work continues to circulate internationally, most recently in Politiken, a leading Danish newspaper. Forbes Magazine described her work as ‘Shocking’. “I say shocking in a good way. Seeing the work felt like standing up in a crowd to make a speech, expecting to be shouted down, only to have a stranger defend you passionately. It was shocking because of its goodness.”
You Have Nothing to Worry About, is a complex and difficult body of work that can be broadly defined as documentary photography.
“Since 2009, I have been making photographs of my mentally ill, substance-abusing mother. Her diagnoses change frequently—from alcoholism to dissociative identity disorder—and my relationship with her has been fraught with animosity for as long as I can remember. I am fully aware that my mother thrives on being the center of attention and that, at times, our portrait sessions encourage her erratic behavior.
The photographs are simultaneously upsetting and encouraging; honest and theatrical; loving and hateful. By turning the camera toward my mother and my relationship with her, I capture her behavior as an echo of my own emotional response. The images function like an ongoing conversation.”