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The Baum 2004

Christopher and Zachary, Bay Farm, Duxbury, Ma

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Katy Grannan: Christopher and Zachary, Bay Farm, Duxbury, MA, 2002; C-print; 48 x 60 in.; gift of the artist and Greenberg Van Doren Gallery as part of The Baum Award for Emerging American Photographers.

The winner of the 2004 Baum Award for Emerging American Photographers, Katy Grannan creates black-and-white and color portraits of people who have answered ads she places in regional newspapers calling for “Art Models,” as well as other strangers the artist approaches. Her photographs are sexy and provocative, empathetic and elegiac. They reference photojournalism, fashion, and classical art history, even as they invoke the work of Diane Arbus and August Sander.

Christopher and Zachary, Bay Farm, Duxbury, MA, the photograph that is entering the BAM collection, shares the greatest affinity with the works of Arbus. The two boys pictured reference each other in both their similarities (large, shirtless, and wearing shorts) and their differences: short and tall, dark and red haired, with enlarged breasts and flat chested. The background of a forest of tall thin trees emphasizes their awkward and ungainly proportions.

The power of Grannan’s images lies in the uneasy relationship between a romantic notion of art’s ability to transcend the everyday and the awkward reality that we are all exactly who we are no matter when, where, or how we are presented.

Heidi Zuckerman Jacobson
Phyllis Wattis MATRIX Curator

Support for The Baum Award for Emerging American Photographers and for the accompanying exhibition has been provided by The Baum Foundation.