“Look at me…” response paper
In the article “Look at me – Self Portrait Photography after Cindy Sherman” by Jennifer Dalton, Dalton argues that there are three young artists, “each grappling with his or her own face, identity, and vanity,” (Dalton, 47) who are all working with self portraiture. In Dalton’s opinion, these artists are exceptionally talented, and are overcoming the shadow cast by their “distinguished precursor” (Dalton, 47).
Nikki S, Lee is the first artist Dalton mentions, and is described as a “self-camouflage artist,” (Dalton, 47). Contradictory to most self-portraitists, Lee is working hard to allow herself to appear almost invisible in the photo, and not “asserting her individuality, identity, and physical appearance,” (Dalton, 47). Dalton says Lee’s talent lies in her ability to assimilate to any social function, or to adapt to meet the social norms of any given group. She mentions her talents aren’t necessarily involved with the actual photography, but rather the art of performance, and actually fitting in to these different social groups. The different groups mentioned by Dalton she says Lee has demonstrated befriending and incorporating herself into their group are Japanese Hipsters, stockbrokers, Hispanic teens, and Ohio trailer park residents.
Dalton argues that Lee’s work is able to demonstrate to the audience that the subcultures one is born into such as ethnic groups are more socially subscribing (Dalton, 49). Dalton is saying that even the groups one may think they have no control over, such as the ethnicity one is born as, can be modified as far as to who is involved in the group. Lee demonstrates this by being a very typical looking Korean-American artist, yet still dressing and acting the part of the different groups she has captured photographs with, and blending in very well. One’s social identity has just as much to do with the way one dresses and acts as it does with their skin tone and race.
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