new-york

Catherine Opie

Gorney Bravin + Lee

In one of Catherine Opie’s best-known photographs, an unsettling 1993 self-portrait, a scene of two stick-figure women standing next to a little house under a puffy cloud has been scratched into the skin of the artist’s back. The image of the body with its reddish cicatrix suggests a compelling ambivalence between domestic bliss and self-wounding. For her latest series, it is as though Opie blew up the scarified scenario to life size and animated it. Over a three-year period (1995–98), she visited lesbian acquaintances around the country and photographed them at home doing everyday things. Michelle and Melissa are pictured amid clothes and household goods at their garage sale in Los Angeles; Kristopher and Clara hold hands in two matching yellow rocking chairs in a backyard in Tulsa; Joanne and Betsy pose stiffly in their suburban New York den with their daughter Olivia, who holds a toy

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