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Posts Tagged ‘Photography’

image from untitled, 2007, C Print, 17″ x 24″

Sarah Knobel is a photographer working in Washington DC.  Her work blends a distressing Middle American adolescent ordinariness with settings and situations of glamor, fashion and fantasy.  It’s a mash up that is equally funny and sad.  Knobel’s most frequent subject is the self-portrait.  And, even though she may appear dressed up, covered in glitter or otherwise ‘in character’, it is very possibly the inclusion of herself in the work that keeps the work from taking a cynical or satirical view of its principle elements.

In anticipation of the exhibit Playful Things (also featuring artists Magda Gluszek, Sharon Shapiro and Christina Vantzou) at the university of Central Missouri’s Gallery of Art, Sarah Knobel was kind enough to answer some questions about her work for us:

Please give our readers a little bit of information about yourself.

I was raised in Texas.  I went to a Baptist private school until 8th grade.  My parents moved us to a border town, Harlingen, TX . There were no private schools in the area, so I got to attend public school.  I wore Nirvana t-shirts  (more…)

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Adam Ekberg: in the between at Thomas Robertello Gallery, on view from December 11, 2009-February 6, 2010.

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Adam Ekberg is showing at Mt. Comfort in Indianapolis, September 4-25, 2009.

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Melanie Schiff: The Mirror at Kavi Gupta Gallery in Chicago, September 11-October 24, 2009.

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Jaimie Warren:  You Are So Beautiful In The Face, June 5-October 3, 2009.

(link to artist’s site)

There is one sentence from the Kemper’s synopsis of this show that I think is critical:  While her portraits and close-ups of food invoke photographers Diane Arbus, Andy Warhol, Cindy Sherman, and Nikki S. Lee, among others, Warren’s photographs are uniquely her own in their strategic balance of artifice and authenticity, subtly conjuring all of the inconsistencies, ironies, and hilariously awkward moments that permeate everyday life.

So here’s how I’m reading this, Jaimie Warren works within a received aesthetic, and she takes on the topics and  issues of this aesthetic but there is this idiosyncratic re-shuffling of the deck that happens, just because she is her and she is not Cindy Sherman or Nikki Lee.  The artwork is worthwhile because Warren is building her own house of cards with someone else’s deck and it’s not built quite the same way—it’s a similar shape and structure, but not identical.  Just what is gained or lossed working this way, I wonder?

Admittedly, the lo-fi quality to this work is probably responsible for make the questions of  uniqueness and originality so relevant to me.  I do recommend reading the essay by James Yood on the first link; he’s able to get to the slightly trashy, sometimes icky fun of these while wrangling with the question of influence.

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Melissa Stallard

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Julie Blackmon’s Domestic Vacations at Catherine Edelman Gallery, November 7, 2008-January 3, 2009.

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