This is going up a few days late because I’ve been so focused on the election. I made 1500 calls for Biden over 6 weeks and talked to about 350 voters.
I was delighted when the National Women’s Caucus for Art unexpectedly contacted me to tell me that I was their chosen feature artist for November.
The photos choices were hard to make. (They always are.)
Pandemic Shadows is my intense new photographic project. I’ve been working on it since June and it continues to use all my photographic energy and time.
I’ve been walking & living in the shadow of the pandemic and the lockdown, photographing the “Pandemic Shadows” that I see everywhere. I started being interested in shadow patterns when I began taking iPhone photos. The pandemic, the isolation, and the walking I’ve been doing, have transformed my vision, making it a far more emotionally involving. It lets me make beauty in hard times.
This is the first time I’ve seen myself in my art this way. It’s a shock to have the way I see change so powerfully. The world has changed so much and so quickly and my vision has inevitably followed.
“Beach” is the last photograph in my book “Women En Large: Images of Fat Nudes”. The suite of photographs in this book convey the beauty and power of the widest possible variety of fat women. I chose this picture because it reflects all of those things, and because it illustrates the relationship between bodies and landscape. My purpose as an artist was to make images that were fine art portraits, capturing an essential sense of the women who modeled.
Beach was our first major media exposure, published full page in the Utne Reader in the spring of 1994. We got hundreds of of letters in response. It was this publication and the positive reaction that made us decide to publish soon. (And a lot of other major media exposure followed this.) The book didn’t come out til the fall of 1994.
“Women of Japan” shows the beauty and power of women of different classes, sizes, physical abilities and backgrounds, extending both Japanese and US standards of who is beautiful and who matters. The series includes photographs of women who are traditionally Japanese, Buraku, Korean residents, Okinawans, Ainu and other women who live in Japan but might be stereotypically described as “not Japanese.” My website includes texts by many of the models, in both Japanese and English. This photo is of Fumiko Nahamura, a long time Okinawan activist. I photographed her in her office when she was 92.
The project was made in conjunction with Japanese feminists. Making fine art portraits of women from another culture was challenging and required great effort and cooperation among all of us. I’m very grateful to the feminists who worked with me.
There is something very gratifying to see my work spanning 30 years in one place.
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