A new exhibition at Portland, Oregon’s Blue Sky Gallery highlights the work of two artists who take different approaches to questioning the dominance of the male gaze in the history of art. “An Inward Gaze” features Arielle Bobb-Willis’s colorful, sculptural images of models, and Brittney Cathey-Adams’s performative, black-and-white, nude self-portraits.
Cathey-Adams says in her artist statement that, “As a fat bodied person” she felt a “radical change in self-perception” the first time she photographed herself nude. The photographs included in the exhibition show her body in motion, which creates a sense of grace and sometimes conflict.
Bobb-Willis dresses her models in colorful clothing and photographs them as they contort themselves into unnatural positions. Through her unique visual language, she alludes to “the complexities of life: the beautiful, the strange, belonging, isolation, and connection,” she writes.
Curated by Jon Feinstein (a PDN contributor) and Roula Seikaly, the exhibition is the result of the second annual Blue Sky Gallery Curatorial Prize, which provides curators gallery space and financial to mount an exhibition of contemporary photography. In a statement, the curators said they paired the work of Bobb-Willis and Cathey-Adams to show “how two artists use photography to process their own inner struggles, how they use images of the physical form as metaphors for these monologues, and ultimately, how their methods are a means of taking ownership over their bodies and inward spaces.”
“An Inward Gaze”
Through June 2, 2019
Blue Sky Gallery
122 NW 8th Avenue
Portland, OR 97209