The New Social Environment#128

Catherine Opie with Lyle Rexer

 

1 p.m. Eastern / 10 a.m. Pacific

Photographer, Catherine Opie will be in conversation with critic, curator, and writer, Lyle Rexer. We’ll conclude with a poetry reading from Willie Perdomo.

Catherine Opie

Catherine Opie
Courtesy of the artist (2012)
Catherine Opie (b. 1961, Sandusky, OH; lives in Los Angeles) is known for her powerfully dynamic photography that examines the ideals and norms surrounding the culturally constructed American dream and American identity. She first gained recognition in the 1990s for her series of studio portraits titled Being and Having, in which she photographed gay, lesbian, and transgender individuals drawn from her circle of friends and artists. Opie has traveled extensively across the country exploring the diversity of America’s communities and landscapes, documenting quintessential American subjects— high school football players and the 2008 presidential inauguration—while also continuing to display America’s subcultures through formal portraits. Using dramatic staging, Opie presents cross-dressers, same-sex couples, and tattooed, scarred, and pierced bodies in intimate photographs that evoke traditional Renaissance portraiture—images of power and respect. In her portraits and landscapes, Opie establishes a level of ambiguity—of identity and place—by exaggerating masculine or feminine characteristics, or by exaggerating the distance of the shot, cropping, or blurring her landscapes.

Lyle Rexer

Lyle Rexer
Photo credit: Jerry Spagnoli

Lyle Rexer is an independent critic, curator and writer. He is the author of numerous books, catalogue essays, and articles on art, architecture, and photography. He contributes to many publications and writes a regular column for Photograph magazine. He lives in Brooklyn and teaches at the School of Visual Arts.

Publications include The Edge of Vision: The Rise of Abstraction in Photography; Jonathan Lerman: The Drawings of An Artist with Autism; How to Look At Outsider Art; Photography’s Antiquarian Avant-Garde: The New Wave in Old Processes; Raw Vision; Art in America; Aperture; The New York Times; Modern Painters; Parkett; Tate Etc.

The Rail has a tradition of ending our conversations with a poem, and we’re fortunate to have Willie Perdomo reading.

Willie Perdomo

Willie Perdomo
Willie Perdomo is the author of The Crazy Bunch, The Essential Hits of Shorty Bon Bon, Smoking Lovely, and Where a Nickel Costs a Dime. He is a Lucas Arts Literary Fellow, a core faculty member at VONA/Voices of our Nation Writing Workshop, and teaches at Phillips Exeter Academy.