Catherine Opie and Football
I thought on this day, when we celebrate contemporary warriors, it might be a good time to take a look at the beginnings of this American tradition through Catherine Opie’s series titled, High School Football.
In one of her latest series of photographs, Cathy captures the football culture of various schools throughout the U.S. via a combination of close-up portraits and sweeping landscapes. Blunt and unaffected, the portraits allow the faces of these high school boys to speak complexly for themselves-to speak of the emotive and psychological underpinnings of an age and a very American practice.
Cathy has always been drawn to the notion of community, and the football field is, indeed, a stage and a nation unto itself. The bright glare of artifical light glorifies acne prone gladiators, and we as spectators, engage in exalted homage to boys on the verge of manhood and masculinity. Our hopes and dreams projected onto their success….it’s a heavy burden to bear and Ms. Opie manages to find the beauty and the vunerablity in that dream.