Photographer Creates Series About a Lonely Astronaut

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Karen Jerzyk is a Boston, Massachusetts-based photographer and the author of a photography series called The Lonely Astronaut.

Her project began a couple of years ago, when she bought an authentic vintage high-altitude space suit and have traveled with it for thousands of miles around the world taking photos of different people in it. Karen sometimes feels like she is traversing Earth alone, with nobody to understands her, except her buddy, the Lonely Astronaut.

“This series is a combination of my love for exploring and the anxiety I get from being around other people,” photographer reveals. “I’ve felt extremely lonely the past few years, I’m constantly awkward, and I never really feel like I belong in any given situation (especially social situations).”

Scroll down and check out the photography series below.

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I always reference my father’s passing as having a huge influence on my work but for some reason always fail to mention something that happened many years prior. Mostly because I’ve buried it for so long and that typically, I feel like people can’t stand talking to me so I don’t want to bore them with “life story stuff”, but lately I’ve been realizing it was a trauma that was never properly dealt with and is still a weird thing kicking around in me. When I was 16, I lost one of my friends in a motorcycle accident (he was 16, as well). I had only been to one other open casket funeral prior to his, and it was my grandfather. I remember the feeling I had when I saw him- an indescribable mix of a dark hurricane filled with shock and confusion. I just stood there and stared. At his face (trying to remember when that face was filled with life and moved) then his hands. Stiff and lifeless and opaque. I stared for what seemed like forever. I remember the sickly sweet smell of the flowers mixing with what I thought were smells emanating from the body. I wanted to puke. I felt the tunnel vision catching up to me, like I was going to faint. I could still see his hands at the end of the tunnel. I could still smell that smell. I had to touch him. I don’t know why, but it was important. I touched his hands and was taken aback by the cold. They were like a beautiful pale marble. All I could remember was that one time, those hands had cut gum out of my hair when we were younger. Without laughing, or making jokes, or judging, he had cautiously said while we were playing in his backyard that there was a gigantic wad of gum in my hair. Those hands tried so hard to get the gum out without cutting my hair. The smell of the flowers in the background, making me sick.I hated flowers since then- mostly the smell. Every time I smelled anything floral I would smell that sickly sweet death right below the surface. One of my earliest memories is being able to see out of one of my living room windows. A summer or spring day. The brilliance of the light outside. I could see the flowers in my neighbors yard. It was beautiful and I had no worries and I was filmed with warmth.

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