Chellis Baird On Embracing Negative Space

As I step inside Chellis Baird’s studio, I’m immediately entranced by all the soft textures — samples of silk, lace, and other fabrics cover the space’s visible surfaces, beckoning to be touched. The mixed-media artist focuses her practice on tactility, and she’s well aware of her craft’s woman-centric history. Instead of shunning its link with domestic work, she chooses to embrace these complexities.

'Dreaming of Home' exhibit explores the ideal of queer domesticity

When she captured her iconic Self-Portrait/Cutting in 1993, Catherine Opie was longing for a life that felt out of reach. Depicting the photographer with her bare back facing the camera, the visceral image centers on a childlike scene of a house and two skirt-clad stick figures holding hands, carved into her skin with her own blood. Then in her early thirties, Catherine had already found a community in Los Angeles – the lesbian leather-culture circles that appear throughout her pictures from that decade – but a deeper yearning for another type of family led her to turn the lens on herself, a statement she intended as both personal and political.

Iiu Susiraja’s nude self-portraits capture the absurdity of daily life

Iiu Susiraja balances an umbrella above her head, tilting it slightly to reveal a set of suspended sausage links. She’s barefoot, wearing a blue bathing suit, and stands against a plaid background, beside a few fish stretched out on a candelabra. As is typical of her intriguing images, the Finnish photographer locks eyes intensely with the viewer, inviting us inside a visual universe that, though seemingly bizarre, continues to suck us in.

Photographing Chicago’s Black gay culture in the 80s

Patric McCoy initially resisted labeling himself a photographer — at least in the traditional sense. Coming from a creative family, the Chicago native inherited an artistic sensibility from his father, a painter, a designer, and a photographer, as well as from his grandmother, who documented her travels throughout the 20s. Still, he didn’t want to be the type of person who paid excessive attention to the craft’s technical aspects. Photography’s potential for facilitating new connections fascinated him the most, not so much the possibility of mastering the medium.

Janet Loren Hill Debuts Her Surrealist Textile Paintings At KAPOW

For her New York solo show Origin Story, multimedia artist Janet Loren Hill has transformed KAPOW's intimate Tribeca space into a wonderland of multicolored surrealism. Still, as the series's signature binocular shape signals, there's much more to this exhibition than meets the eye. Interweaving fantasy and satire, Origin Story grapples with the concept of identity and, in the process, asks the audience to ponder: what lengths will we go to defend the myths we sell to others, and to ourselves?

Photographing the rabid counterculture of 70s NYC

Like most angsty teenagers in search of broader horizons, when photographer Julia Gorton made the decision to move from Delaware to New York City in 1976, she was lured by the exciting subcultures she read about in Rock Scene, Interview, and other publications lining the shelves of her local library. Her then-boyfriend, musician Rick Brown, had already settled in the city a year prior, so she lived vicariously through his postcards while finishing high school.

Photographing a women’s psychiatric ward in the 70s

Throughout the span of her prolific, decades-long career, photographer Mary Ellen Mark made it her mission to document people on the margins of society — those whom she referred to as the “unfamous.” From homeless teens on the streets of Seattle to circus performers in India, she displayed unwavering compassion for every subject she met and inevitably kept in touch with most of them, a practice she maintained until her death in 2015.

Photographs capturing the darker side of motherhood

It’s a mother’s worst fear: to spend nine months giddy with anticipation, eager to meet the tiny being growing inside you, only to be overwhelmed by the suspicion that something isn’t right. What’s usually a chapter full of joy and precious milestones starts to sour, and the burden of existence becomes too much to handle. People say it’s probably a case of the ‘baby blues,’ and in due course, like everything, the phase should pass. But what happens when it doesn’t?

Photographing the vibrant subcultures of downtown Albuquerque

Downtown Albuquerque is steeped in legend and homegrown traditions, from offbeat after-hours spots to all kinds of experimental music and art. The infectious sound of camaraderie ripples beyond Central Avenue, where the neighborhood’s charm is on full display through a combination of community and irreplicable style. Souped-up automobiles cruise through city corridors in an ​​effervescent expression of individuality, signaling how here, a lowrider isn’t only a type of car – it’s a flourishing lifestyle.

Photos of NYC youth culture during the 80s war on drugs

From Brooklyn stoops to buzzing street corners in the Bronx, a kind of unmistakable energy defined New York City in the 80s. Rollerskates were all the rage, and no style trio was as iconic as bomber jackets, bucket hats, and track pants. After clawing its way from the brink of bankruptcy in the late 70s, New York emerged stronger on the other side, ready to tackle the new era with effortless confidence. Slowly but surely, the city started to come alive again – though many might argue it never died in the first place.
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