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The American Civil War: Shadows of Ourselves

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Picture of Jean Norris' Old farm in Oklahoma, Hanging in the Norris Living Room

Debbie Grossman (American, born 1977)

Date:
2010
Medium:
Inkjet print
Dimensions:
Image: 26.7 x 35.6 cm (10 1/2 x 14 in.) Sheet: 33 x 48.3 cm (13 x 19 in.)
Classification:
Photographs
Credit Line:
Purchase, Charina Foundation Inc. Gift, 2011
Accession Number:
2011.423.12
Rights and Reproduction:
© Debbie Grossman
  • Description

    In 1940, at the tail end of the Depression, Russell Lee, a photographer working for the Farm Security Administration, documented a small community of homesteaders in Pie Town, New Mexico. Seventy years later, Grossman appropriated and reworked these images to fashion an alternative Pie Town—one inhabited exclusively by women. Using Adobe Photoshop software (which she considers her primary medium), she altered the features of men to make them appear more effeminate, modified the placement and body language of pairs of women to suggest a sense of intimacy, and erased some male figures altogether. Just as Lee’s original photographs offered an idealized view of Western agrarian life, Grossman’s imaginative revision is intended as a lighthearted form of propaganda—a utopian fantasy in which gender roles are fluid and the traditional idea of family is redefined.

  • Signatures, Inscriptions, and Markings

    Inscription: Signed and inscribed in pencil, verso BL to BC: "Picture of Jean Norris' old farm home... 2010/2011 My Pie Town portfolio 1/5 Debbie Grossman"

  • Provenance

    the artist, 2011; [Julie Saul Gallery, New York, 2011]

299327

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