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Katy Grannan
Model American
HC, 29 x 23 cm., o.pp.
Aperture 2005

"In the tradition of August Sander and Diane Arbus, Katy Grannan takes photographic portraits. Her portraits, however, swing from referencing Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres or Edouard Manet to mimicking pin-ups or fashion photographs. Her subjects are not aristocrats or stars, but rather unknown middleclass Americans ( in their 20's and 30's ) who call her to transform them , if only for a day.
This fusion gives them an awkward familiarity. They ultimately fail, however, to be either a traditional portrait commission or an image for the glossies." Gallery 51 -

"This relationship Grannan has with the people she photographs, more of a fling or a one-night stand than an ongoing commitment, informs all her work, from her uneasy suburban set-ups to her more recent pictures of men and women sprawled semi-naked in long grass. At home or outdoors, their limbs are stiff and slightly twisted, their faces not quite relaxed; they want to be photographed, but they're not quite sure who this woman is, and how they're going to look. In the past couple of years, Grannan has taken to shooting people in wastelands and backwaters, the sort of places where lovers go and bodies get found; the people in these pictures often look braced for sex or sudden death. You have to remember, Grannan says, that being naked in public is a crime, and that being naked in America is a bolder thing than it is in Europe. "The whole country has become suffocated by Bush and the religious right, which makes me and a lot of people want to rebel." The Guardian -

"Grannan's purposely stagey images come alive with a weird, hard-edged lyricism when shot in natural light, with a backdrop of soil, foliage, and water." Publisher's Weekly -


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