Monday, December 23, 2013

Catherine Opie (born 1961) is an American artist specializing in issues within documentary photography

Catherine Opie (born 1961 in Sandusky, Ohio) is an American artist specializing in issues within documentary photography. Opie is currently a professor of Photography at University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA).[
Opie obtained a master's degree from California Institute of the Arts School of Art in 1988. She currently lives in Los Angeles.

Themes in work

Opie's work is characterized by a combination of formal concerns, a variety of printing technologies, references to art history, and social/political commentary. An example of formal concerns include addressing issues of the horizon line in the "ice house" and "surfer" series. She has printed photographs using chromochrome, iris prints, Polaroids, and silver photogravure. Examples of art history references include the use of bright color backgrounds in portraits which reference the work of Hans Holbein and the full body frontal portraits that reference August Sander. A common social/political theme in her work is the concept of community. Opie has investigated aspects of community, making portraits of many groups including LGBT community; surfers; and most recently high school football players. Opie is interested in how identities are shaped by our surrounding architecture. Her work is informed by her identity as an out lesbian. Her works balance personal and political. Her assertive portraits bring queers to a forefront that is normally silenced by societal norms.

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