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Historic Salt Prints and ‘Bear Studies’

June 26, 2015

Portraiture Now: Staging the Self
Americas Society
680 Park Ave., 212-249-8950
Through Oct. 17
Psychologist Erik Erikson (1902-1994) had a peculiar upbringing that led him to develop the concept of “identity,” the effect of which is that people now spend too much time trying to figure out who they are. The Americas Society is showing work by six U.S. Latino artists, including four photographers, grappling with their identities. The five large-format black-and-white portraits by Maria Martinez-Cañas in her “Duplicity as Identity” series (2008-09) were created by merging images of herself and her father in changing proportions, beginning with herself as just 10% and ending with 90%.

Carlee Fernandez says her “body is the general form of a small bear.” In her “Bear Studies” series (2004) she photographed herself wearing a bear’s head, with her upper half inside the front of a bear’s skin, with her bottom half inside the back of a bear’s skin, and with clumps of bear fur coming from her nostrils; her deadpan expression is what makes the last image memorable. In seven photos Karen Miranda Rivadeneira reconstructs pictures of her younger self with family members.....

Read the full art review here.