When you were growing up did you ever imagine that you were actually a twin, adopted out and separated from your real family miles away? Even if you didn’t imagine it (or wish it), the feeling of being separated or being just one part of a whole is something that has intrigued artists, philosophers, writers and filmmakers for decades. Photographer and artist Katie Shapiro has taken up similar themes in her body of work, which she has been exploring from her creative base of Silverlake, California for the past decade.

“I’ve always been interested in psychology and analysis and this work is based on feelings that are hidden or under the surface, away from view,” says Shapiro of her most recent and on-going work entitled Under Belly, which documents lone characters scattered across diverse settings. While her 2009 series a(part)/together visually incorporated connections between siblings, lovers and friends, Under Belly has a more lonely sentiment. We mused with Shapiro that perhaps living in Los Angeles for so many years has pushed her work into the current direction.

“In terms of the ideas in the series A(part)/Together they are certainly linked to my life in LA which can be very fragmented due to the nature of the city’s layout. LA has a lot of offer for a photographer; sunny weather, characters, a certain je ne sais quoi.  It is hard to pin down but there is definitely something special about this weird place.”

Shapiro graduated from the California Institute of the Arts’ photography program in 2007 and shoots most of her work on a Hasselblad SLR. You can view more of her stills at www.katieshapiro.com