Iconic Butch

Catherine Opie’s series of photos, ‘Girlfriends’, are intimate portraits. It’s easy to think that you’re friends with the person photographed, that you have a history together, perhaps love, or just a strong friendship: feelings of desire are there.

Here’s what Opie has to say about them:

“They’re all from my archive. I’m working on this new body of work for an exhibition called “Girlfriends,” where I’m photographing kind of iconic butch lesbians, and I’m also pulling out all these black-and-white square-format photographs I did throughout the 80s and 90s, as these little moments of sexy desire and memory. It’s kind of like an ode to my former life, before domesticity and motherhood. [laughs] I’m not really hanging out in the dungeons anymore or shooting the SM community in the way I used to.” — from Vice Magazine

What to look for:

  • Identity is played out in different forms — watch how Opie frames the personality and idiosyncracies of each model.
  • The images tell us as much about the photographer as about the person photographed, through the gaze, the setting, the framing of the model, the interaction of the model and the camera.

Catherine Opie
Girlfriends

Barbara Gladstone Gallery - 515 West 24th Street
until April 24, 2010

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