Photolucida: Christa Blackwood: Naked Lady: A Dot Red
As female photographers, we are exposed to the photographic history of western landscapes and sensous nudes that were most often created by men. Austin photographer, Christa Blackwood, seeks re-exams that history with her work Naked Lady: A Dot Red . Christa recently opened a solo show of this work at the Center of Fine Art Photography in Colorado, with an opening tomorrow night, June 7th. The exhibition runs through July 27th, 2013. Her work will also be featured in Unbound 2 at the Candela Gallery in Virginia opening July 5th, 2013. Christa would like to thank Tom Druecker and Margie Impson at Slugfest Studios for their kind guidance and tutelage and thank Katherine Brimberry at Flatbed Press.
Christa received her BA in Classics from the University of Oklahoma and her MA in Studio Art from New York University. Christa’s work has been featured in the New York Times, New York Newsday, the Village Voice, and the Chicago Sun Times. She has exhibited in galleries and museums around the globe.
Three years ago, I took a photography workshop, again with a male instructor but this time with 8 adult students: six women and two men. Three of the students, two women and a man created self-portraits. But while the women’s self-portraits were nude, the man’s were clothed. After it was over, one of the female photographers told me that at the beginning of the workshop the instructor told her she had to “lose the clothes.” I wonder: was the male photographer given the same instruction?
This question extends back through the history of photography, and can be asked of its greatest stars. Tina Modotta, Georgia O’Keeffe, Rebecca Strand and Lee Miller — all famous artists and photographers in their own right — are depicted as nudes by their respective male partners and colleagues, Edward Weston, Alfred Stieglitz, Paul Strand and Man Ray. Why haven’t these icons of photography — Weston, Stieglitz, Strand and Man Ray — been depicted in the same manner? Why is the nude almost exclusively female?
Diamante, 18″x24″, photograuvre 2013
Susan Sontag said,
“What is true of photographs is true of the world seen photographically.” To me, this means that we photograph what we see as the truth. And through photographs we are told that there is one standard of beauty –it is female, and it is nude.
Piedra Lumbre, 18″x24″, photograuvre 2013
Saucido, 18″x24″, photogravure 2013
Solitario, 18″x24″ photogravure 2013
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