Because I am a Woman

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Posts tagged "Photography"

Feminist Art Friday Feature: Sarah Bilotta

Sarah Bilotta is a photographer living and working out of New England. Check out more of her work on her website and keep in touch through her Tumblr and Facebook pages.  

Artist Statement for the Goddesses series:

This series entitled “Goddesses” features images of young women, photographed to evoke the flat feeling of an iconographic painting. The blood red halo around their heads symbolizes my interpretation of the “anti-goddess.” In art history the “icon” has often been used as an artist’s representation of flawlessness and sanctity. But, here the subjects are diverse young models, identically dressed and posed to emphasize physical distinctions and juxtapose the conventional concept of “beauty” with the reality that beauty comes in many forms. In an attempt to render my subjects as realistic as possible, they are unfettered by skin and body retouching, professional makeup, or airbrushing.

In a static medium such as photography it is difficult to avoid placing flawless models on a pedestal. The Goddesses series is an ongoing attempt to represent diversity, individuality, independence, spirit, and that which drives us away from manipulated perfection while promoting awareness of media representations of beauty.

The Goddesses series began as an experimentation with icons and symbolism in art and expanded into a project about the representation of beauty. Both commercial photography and fine art photography tend towards the representation of beauty being one of a graceful, thin, young, white woman. In the past, western culture’s definition of beauty was likely very different, yet still tended to fall into one rather strict definition of physical appearance. In creating this series of images, I want to become part of a dialogue in contemporary art that is exploring the value of seeking out alternate definitions of beauty and challenging the archetype that beauty is homogenous.

It is very important to me to make the images I want to make – not those that I think someone else will want to buy. However, working on this series has opened me up to a constant struggle of ideals. Some artists are critical of those who use Photoshop because it masks “true” representations, but others are critical of those who don’t use Photoshop because contemporary fine art photography is not typically thought of as a literal representation of a person or thing, but rather a creative representation. I am attempting to create a balance of these two philosophies, while keeping in mind the notion that perpetuating awareness of Photoshop and how it is used to manipulate art can be helpful for developing a more literate approach to analyzing our personal connections to contemporary art.

Feminist Art Friday Feature: Carrie Mae Weems

By: Ally B.

American photographer and multimedia artist Carrie Mae Weems racism, gender, class and their intersections in identity formation in her award-winning work. Earlier in life, Weems studied dance before finding photography in her early twenties when her boyfriend got her camera. She went on to receive an MFA from the University of California, San Diego. Most recently, the artist was awarded the prestigious MacArthur Genius Award which will give her $625,000 over the course of five years with no conditions. (1)

In her own words:

"…from the very beginning, I’ve been interested in the idea of power and the consequences of power; relationships are made and articulated through power. Another thing that’s interesting about the early work is that even though I’ve been engaged in the idea of autobiography, other ideas have been more important: the role of narrative, the social levels of humor, the deconstruction of documentary, the construction of history, the use of text, storytelling, performance, and the role of memory have all been more central to my thinking than autobiography."[2]

To learn more about Carrie Mae Weems and her art, try the following resources:

sarahfonseca:

flyoverart:

South of the Ohio: A Queer Photo Doc

Featured photographer Christian Hendricks is embarking on a photo project documenting Queer culture in the American South.  Learn more about the project and help chip in a few bucks on the project’s kickstarter, and keep up to date with the project’s tumblr page too.

I’m here for this.

(via feministsbakecupcakestoo)

cavetocanvas:

Gordon Parks, American Gothic, 1942
From the Corcoran Gallery of Art:

Across his careers as an artist, a filmmaker, and an author, Gordon Parks consistently worked to expose racism, poverty, crime, segregation, and other social ills that existed in American society. A self-taught photographer, Parks got his start in 1942 when he earned a fellowship to work for a New Deal government agency called the Farm Security Administration (FSA). He moved to Washington, D.C. and documented the African-American community and the intolerance that they encountered around the city. His best-known photographs from this period feature Ella Watson, a government charwoman employed by the FSA, who Parks befriended and chronicled. In American Gothic, Washington, D.C., Parks posed Watson with her mop and broom in an image derived from Grant Wood’s painting American Gothic, 1930. Standing firmly before the American flag, and looking directly at the camera, Watson signifies how African Americans living in segregation during this era did not possess the freedoms and opportunities symbolized by the flag in the background. When Parks first showed the image to Roy Stryker, his mentor at the FSA, Stryker responded, “Well, you’re getting the idea, but you’re going to get us all fired.” Parks went on to become the first African American staff photographer for Life.

cavetocanvas:

Gordon Parks, American Gothic, 1942

From the Corcoran Gallery of Art:

Across his careers as an artist, a filmmaker, and an author, Gordon Parks consistently worked to expose racism, poverty, crime, segregation, and other social ills that existed in American society. A self-taught photographer, Parks got his start in 1942 when he earned a fellowship to work for a New Deal government agency called the Farm Security Administration (FSA). He moved to Washington, D.C. and documented the African-American community and the intolerance that they encountered around the city. His best-known photographs from this period feature Ella Watson, a government charwoman employed by the FSA, who Parks befriended and chronicled. In American Gothic, Washington, D.C., Parks posed Watson with her mop and broom in an image derived from Grant Wood’s painting American Gothic, 1930. Standing firmly before the American flag, and looking directly at the camera, Watson signifies how African Americans living in segregation during this era did not possess the freedoms and opportunities symbolized by the flag in the background. When Parks first showed the image to Roy Stryker, his mentor at the FSA, Stryker responded, “Well, you’re getting the idea, but you’re going to get us all fired.” Parks went on to become the first African American staff photographer for Life.

gaywrites:

Check out photographer Tatjana Plitt’s series of portraits titled “Gay Warriors,” a look at LGBT members of the armed forces and their families in the aftermath of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell and in the ever-present shadow of DOMA. This one’s called Idalia & Angelie. Full interview here

The aesthetics of these photos are notable for another reason as well. They draw the reader’s gaze to the female body without sexualizing it. Instead, women’s athleticism is featured. We are accustomed to seeing the chiseled musculature of male athletes in sports photography. Women, however, aremore commonly sexualized, with shots of female athletes often indistinguishable from the gratuitous pictures of models and movie stars found in fashion layouts and men’s magazines. (via BagNewsNotes - Salon.com)

These are really beautiful photos too. Click through to look at the rest.