Photographers In Focus: Catherine Opie

Video (5:08): artist talk, Catherine Opie talks about her photography.

Excerpt from the video description:
From freeways to nipple rings, dinner scenes to dildos, iconoclastic American photographer Catherine Opie describes her thirty-year oeuvre as “twisted social documentary photography” that is unapologetically queer. (…)

Opie rose to prominence in the early ’90s with an arresting portrait series of friends from Los Angeles’s leather community. Her refined and elegant images of California’s drag queens, queers, leather dykes and transgender people upended traditional notions of sexuality and opened up conversations about identity performance.

As a photographer and member of San Francisco’s BDSM scene during the ’80s, Opie vowed never to be a voyeur within her own community. One of her earliest works is Cathy (bed self-portrait) (1987), which is a brazen black-and-white image she took of herself wearing a strap-on, dressed in negligee astride a bed. This and other photographs from the artist were an affront to social conservatism and cultural censorship, created in the knowledge that representation is crucial to securing recognition and respect.’

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