Presented by Humble Arts Foundation and Affirmation Arts
523 W. 37th Street
New York, New York 10018
Tuesday – Friday 10am-6pm and Saturday 11am-5pm
31 Women in Art Photography is an exhibition that was curated by Humble Arts from artist online submissions. The exhibition does include 31 artists, 31 women and 31 pieces of art (I counted, dont worry). Being a woman operating in “Art Photography” myself, I was curious to see what a show with 31 women included and did not include. So I went down to 37th street, rang the doorbell, and was shocked to see myself addressed in the opening statement of the show, “While many might expect to approach this exhibition in search of a decidedly ‘female’ voice, gender, in this context, is often obscured or absent entirely.” Yes, I was expecting to see some “decidedly female” work, whatever that may look like, but was not disappointed by the lack of it.
The show included Erica Allen, Amelia Bauer, Claire Beckett, Gilda Davidian, Jessica Eaton, Naomi Harris, Carmen von Kende, Anna Krachey, Yvonne Lacet, Erika Larsen, Jessica Mallios, Alison Malone, S. Billie Mandle, Paula McCartney, Rachelle Mozman, Yamini Nayar, Sarah Palmer, Kristine Potter, Heather Rasmussen, Justine Reyes, Lisa Robinson, Irina Rozovsky, Sasha Rudensky, Victoria Sambunaris, Robin Schwartz, Emily Shur, Brea Souders, Rachel Sussman, Kirsten Kay Thoen, Carson Fisk-Vittori, and Ann Woo.
Humble Arts did a great job of covering nearly everything, it is a diverse and well rounded group of artists operating within the different models of current art photography. There was even one photographic sculpture, Fog Field Prism by Kirsten Kay Thoen. It reminded me of the Pink Floyd album cover and looking into the prism I thought I was going to see a unicorn frolicking in the mist. Thoen had me convinced. The Ann Woo photograph that is on the invitation is beautiful but it did not get me as excited as the Yvonne Lacet, Template of a Sleeping City, Patterns #1, and the Carson Fisk-Vittori, Portal. Both pieces were transformed by their titles, Template from a pattern of white rectangles on a black field into what I would imagine midtown looks like when it goes to sleep, and Portal from a mirror resting on a wall of bushes reflecting the grass in front of it to a magical modern day suburban wardrobe I thought only C.S. Lewis could produce.
Overall I was impressed. Other highlights were Sarah Palmer‘s Birth of the World, a watermelon homage to the female genitalia, Anna Krachey‘s Seafoam, Justine Reyes‘ Still Life, Brea Souders‘ Untitled #7, Emily Shur‘s Big Baby, Avondale, Arizona, and Kristine Potter‘s Untitled, which is two soldiers whose appearance in the photograph seems to be fading into the background, being lost in the sun that is behind their embrace. The most successful part of the show was that it made me want to know more about each woman’s work, even the work I was not that in to and especially the work that I was inspired by. I believe a group show is successful if it does inspire inquiry, so A+. The work looks great and is definitely worth the trip to Affirmation Arts to see. The show is up until April.
Just an aside, was it necessary to name the exhibition 31 Women in Art Photography? 31 Women in Art Photography feels like a Rosie the Riveter for contemporary art photography, but I became more interested in the show when I saw “Women” in the title. Tricky, tricky.