Thursday, January 12, 2012

catherine opie

there are those experience you have with art that stick with you forever, like mashed potatoes to your ribs on a cold winter evening. my first overwhelming memory of an artist's body of work is of Keith Harring at the worcester art museum a year after his death. Im not sure my 9 year old self fully grasped the extent of the exhibit, but the weight of it did stick with me. I was aware of the sense of community in his work, humans of different shapes, colors and sizes all jumbled in together. 
Though 20 years later, I experienced something similar the first time I saw the work of Catherine Opie. The nuances of the work took more time to sift through and process but the immediate weight and importance of community in her work was undeniable. I have been thinking a lot about her "Ice House" series now that winter if fully upon us. She focuses her lens on a temporary community able to exist for only a short period each year. In the dead of winter, when life as we normally experience it shifts drastically this community of fisherman, comrades of a frozen landscape, appear. 

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