Catherine Opie
Mary, 2012
Catherine Opie (1961)
Mary, 2012
Pigment print
127 x 97.5 cm
This work portrays Mary Kelly, American conceptual artist, feminist, educator, and writer, as she ties her hair in her recognizable bun. It is part of a recent series of portraits by Catherine Opie that establish a conversation with the classical European tradition. Situated against black backgrounds, Opie’s portraits depict close friends and family members carefully posed in tableaux that emphasize a dramatic play of light and shadow. For the artist, the theatrical language of Baroque portraiture conveys and suggests desire. Opie stated: “I had really been photographing America in relationship to documenting in the past decade (…) but I just needed to just go back within myself.” The new images, she says, reflect her own “internal space” and are intended to function more allegorically.