All the works in “Portraiture Now: Staging the Self,” an exhibition of six contemporary Latino artists from the United States organized by the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, in collaboration with the Smithsonian Latino Center, reimagine portraiture in creative ways. The best ones, however, are displayed in the front half of the gallery here and are, incidentally, by women.
Carlee Fernandez’s delightfully weird self-portraits from 2006 show her communing with her (old, white, male) influences — like the writer Charles Bukowski and the sculptor Franz West — by positioning herself under or against giant photographs of them or their works. Rachelle Mozman’s subtly dramatic photographs feature her mother playing different roles: Sometimes she is a uniformed maid; other times she is the upper-class woman being served.
María Martinez-Cañas’s “Duplicity as Identity” (2008-9) is a series of photographs in which the artist digitally merges her portrait with that of her father, questioning familial and gender identities. Karen Miranda Rivadeneira’s photographs are lush and poetic, capturing herself and family members in wild and beautiful landscapes....
Photo: Piscina by Rachelle Mozman (born 1972). 2011 C-Print, Sheet: 55.9 × 66cm (22 ×26"). Courtesy of the artist © Rachelle Mozman.