Since the Byzantine Empire, artists have grappled with the depiction of religious and holy figures in Christianity, establishing a visual iconography that has been carried through the centuries. In “The Religious,” a series featuring clergymen and vowed women, photographer and Yale MFA student Anna Shimshak discards the familiar ways religious figures are represented and focuses instead on the individual identity and physicality of her subjects, alluding to the intersection of bodily and spiritual desires through their gestures and expressions.
Shimshak took a worldly approach for the “The Religious,” photographing subjects from the United States, Europe and South Asia over the course of three years. The series was recognized in PDN’s The Curator Fine-Art Awards last year and was part of the group exhibition at Foley Gallery in New York City. The competition is open for 2016 submissions through May 17 at pdncuratorawards.com.