Wednesday, October 24, 2012
Last night I saw photographer Zoe Strauss lecture at CCA and it was pretty inspiring. now in her 40s, she has a manic sort of energy and enthusiasm about her, telling stories in a sort of rambling way, with a childlike awe for everything around her. Her humility and appreciation for the way the art community has embraced her was refreshing as well as her refusal to conform to anyone's standards of how she should portray her art. Strauss showed images from her 10 years series that she showed under the I-95 overpass in Philadelphia from 2001-2011. they are mostly images from her hometown, the human side of a very working class, gritty and diverse environment. Having grown up in Philadelphia, it felt close to my heart to see these images and hear her stories about the neighborhoods. What impressed me the most is how well thought out and carefully conceived her projects are. She thinks deeply about the relation between her images and the location of where it should be placed, the social and political impact of her art. She is also very funny, intelligent, and irreverent. It's rare to see an artist that is using their art to bring about some kind of positive change while also reflecting the world we live in in a beautiful, real way- not some pretty, glossy version of it. I'm sad I never got to see her show at the museum of art in Philly, but here are some of my favorite images.