You Have Nothing to Worry About

Melissa Spitz

Mom’s Mask, Pt. 1,  2011

Mom’s Mask, Pt. 1, 2011

“Here take these you’ll feel better.” Xanax from Mom,  2013

“Here take these you’ll feel better.” Xanax from Mom, 2013

The Last Time Dad Remembers Mom Being ‘Normal,’ Seattle,  1996

The Last Time Dad Remembers Mom Being ‘Normal,’ Seattle, 1996

“I fell down and broke my jaw,”  2012

“I fell down and broke my jaw,” 2012

Intravenous Fluids,  2014

Intravenous Fluids, 2014

“I need this for protection,” Mom’s BB Gun,  2014

“I need this for protection,” Mom’s BB Gun, 2014

All of Mom’s Prescriptions,  2014

All of Mom’s Prescriptions, 2014

Praying,  2013

Praying, 2013

Mom’s Vacation,  2013

Mom’s Vacation, 2013

Mom Crying After Her Friend Committed Suicide,  2014

Mom Crying After Her Friend Committed Suicide, 2014

Rocking Chair,  2013

Rocking Chair, 2013

Pool Day,  2015

Pool Day, 2015

Mom in the Passenger Seat,  2016

Mom in the Passenger Seat, 2016

Mom’s Mask, Pt. 2,  2016

Mom’s Mask, Pt. 2, 2016

Hairbrushes,  2018

Hairbrushes, 2018

Mom After a Breakdown,  2017

Mom After a Breakdown, 2017

 

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.

 

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Melissa Spitz

Melissa Spitz (b.1988) is a working artist from St. Louis, Missouri, who currently resides in Brooklyn, New York. Melissa is the recipient of Magnum's Inge Morath Award, recognizing a female photographer under the age of 30. Additionally, in 2017 she was named TIME Magazine’s Instagram Photographer of the year. Her work has been described as ‘brutally honest’ and ‘shocking.’

melissaspitz.com