PDN Photo of the Day

Hiding in the Curtains

In Patty Carroll’s new book Anonymous Women, out this month from Daylight Books, human figures are submerged in fabric of various types, creating startling images in which a woman is replaced by the material world. The bright, poppy images are visually seductive, but as Lauren DeLand writes in the book, “Carroll’s deployment of the tactics of commercial photography is best described as subterfuge: in advertising, the bodies of beautiful women are routinely employed to create an aura of desirability for a given product. In Carroll’s work, the product is a devouring graphic force that swallows the woman whole.”

The scenes range from the domestic and sartorial to the abstract: A body draped in pink with a tasseled cord around her neck imitates the statue in a nearby lamp; a figure with a woven handbag head poses next to a dresser crawling with high heeled shoes. In more ambiguous images, pleated floral cloth or black and white polka dots hides a subtle human form. As Carroll writes in the book, “The photographs comment on obsession with excessive collecting, accumulating, designing, and decorating. I wanted the woman to be part of her “stuff,” which creates her identity while simultaneously overwhelming and obscuring her. I laugh at myself, and other women, when we lose perspective and become possessed by our material goods.”

The series is on view at Texas A&M University’s Wright Gallery from January 24 until March 16.

Related Stories:
Through the Curtains
The Doll’s House
Aline Smithson: Finding Your Artistic Voice Through Personal Work

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