Getting The Girl: A Photography Project from Joy Scopa

As an artist I am fixated on the past. The awkward, the traumatic, the private, the heartbreaking, the humorous, and the humiliating memories of my childhood manifest themselves in my work. Before I hit my fat kid phase I was a tomboy. When I was six I used to dress up in my brothers football uniform and pose for Polaroids with my arms flexed as the jersey and helmut basically wore me. Other days I’d stand in front of the mirror and shove socks down my underwear to get a glimpse of myself as a dude. Once I wore the football uniform to a Halloween dance, I can still hear Tony Castinino giving me shit about how he didn’t know girls could be football players. For some reason I didn’t care but this marked the first time I was made aware of societies expectations and definitions of gender roles.

 In my current project, Getting The Girl, I have focused on key movies from my childhood, in which the lead male role left an imprint of himself on me. I’ve isolated particular scenes that resonate with me most. Scenes that are eerily familiar and sometimes made me feel like I was staring in a mirror or watching myself on the screen. This observation lead me to question what gender really means, where it comes from and how we ultimately “learn” or model ourselves after particular male and female roles. I quickly began to realize that I had in some respects “become” the leading man. Throughout the films I caught glimpses of mannerisms, gestures, facial expressions, clothing and in some cases, attitude and outlook that resembled my own behaviors. They had literally actualized themselves into my being. They taught me how to dress, how to balance being sweet with a little dickhead swagger, how to be the geek and still be cool, how to make a girl swoon, how to be thoughtful and protective, how to be the hero, the guy that all the girls daydream about; their own personal Jake Ryan, John Bender, and Dallas Winston. Ultimately, they taught me how to Get the Girl. -Joy Scopa

Photo by Joy Scopa

Photo by Joy Scopa

Photo by Joy Scopa

Photo by Joy Scopa


Born in Boston, MA to a bricklayer and terminally ill mother who used art as a way to heal, Joy Scopa is an artist obsessed with the past and how it manifests itself in her day-to-day life. She loves drawing on the awkward, strange, humorous and heartbreaking experiences that comprise her youth. Earning her BA in Media Studies and Visual Arts at Fordham University in New York she then went on to attend the Miami Ad School where she studied graphic design and photography. She is currently in her second year of the MFA in graphic design program at Otis College of Art and Design in Los Angeles.

Visit this website to learn more about the artist’s work,

One Response to “Getting The Girl: A Photography Project from Joy Scopa”
  1. This is exquisite in idea and execution.

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