I’m excited about the changes in my vision that create these new photos.
When we made Familiar Men: A Book of Nudes, the book included small images that were created from the larger photos. They were complete compositions in themselves as art. Since Familiar Men was about masculinity, they were also part of its complex commentary.
Recently I decided to create photos (“framings”) that were composed from within the portraits and were not about the conceptual aspects of my work, but simply existed as fine art compositions.
This work is much more abstract than previously, and closer to my artistic origins. I was raised in museums in New York at a time when abstract expressionism was considered the pinnacle of art. It was the first art I was exposed to. There is a level of abstract composition that overlays everything I do.
You’ll see “framing” images below and a link to the original portrait they came from.
These super-fabulous street art posters have been showing up in Philadelphia and New York. The artist is Tatyana Fazlalizadeh, who also has a Tumblr called Stop Telling Women to Smile.
Fazlalizadeh lives in Bedford-Stuyvesant (a famously low-income, mostly African-American and Hispanic) neighborhood in New York, where she got sick of being constantly cat-called, so she took action.
She also gives artist talks and uses those, like her art and her web presence, to get people to think about the meaning behind, and the effect of, street harassment. The posters prompt discussion, including responses written on the posters themselves, for example (as seen at the first link above) “a cocky woman who blows a guy off isn’t that attractive, no matter how good you look,” and “Relax!”
So, she’s touching a nerve.
Who knows? Maybe in a year or two, Fazlalizadeh will not have to “dodge cops in the cover of darkness” to get her posters into the world. I’d like to see them as public service announcements in bus shelters and train platforms in every English-speaking city in the world.