Monday, May 30, 2016

Event 4: Hammer Museum

Catherine Opie's Exhibit: Portraits

Just as all of the different pairings with art that we have studied throughout the quarter have historical points where they first began to flourish, Catherine Opie’s portraits help illustrate important events throughout history. Opie specifically focuses on contemporary America over the past 30 years. 
Portrait by Opie
She gives us an insight into American’s emotions and reactions to these moving events. She is able to capture emotions remarkably, almost transporting the viewer to the time that the portrait was taken.
Opie’s work draws from a mix of influences from Renaissance painting and street photography traditions.
Portrait by Opie
Often times she will select sitters from her close circle of friends, including other artists, designers and even writers. The most unique part of Opie’s work is how she illuminates her sitters while they are surrounded by darkness, “as if lit from within by their intellectual potency”. Opie’s work can also be attributed to the lecture on Two Cultures because she juxtaposes mainstream and abnormal society. Many people attest to being within one of these two cultures. However, I would argue that in Los Angeles the two cultures are often intermixed. The fast-paced life style of many people in Los Angeles can make it difficult to deter your self from any one category. It becomes easier to go with the flow and find the best path for each individual, whether that be mainstream, abnormal, or a mixture of both.
Proof of me at the Hammer Museum

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