Sunday, March 27, 2011

Street Ladies

Artist Katy Grannan has a keen eye for the pretty that exists in the odd. Her work is a body of mostly photographs that shows viewers what they may not think to look at in a way that makes it so they can't stop staring. The artist's latest work centers around a decidedly older group of subjects. In a two part solo exhibition entitled The Happily Ever After at Salon 94's Bowery and Freemans locations (see the site for details) Grannan presents The Believers and Boulevard. The Believers is an unscripted video work featuring a cast of faces familiar to Grannan's cannon; and Boulevard is the artist's rendition of street style photography. In her characteristic way Grannan stopped and snapped an intriguing (beautiful, unsettling, maybe unhinged) set of strangers against a stucco wall, as bright as the California sun.

The photos of Boulevard are of a varied set of passersby that present with their own peculiarities. Each subject carries out some form of visual delusion, whether a dyed mustache masking grays, a teeny tank top defying calendar age, a masculine jawline, or a host of ill-fitting clothing relaying an ill-fitting persona. The thread between them is a molding of reality to match the mind's life, the one that the subjects are living happily ever after. The photos themselves are saturated with sunshine, and glisten with brightness. The shots of older women, in their outfits and with their smiles, are most intriguing. Age is such a taboo in our culture, that we associate it with demented minds and feeble bodies, rather than a mark of life well lived and well spent. Grannan's photos raise that point without any pointedness, just great sitters and a stucco wall.

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