For our annual photo issue we reached out to 16 up-and-coming photographers and asked them which photographer inspired them to pursue the medium. Then we approached their "idols" to see if they would be willing to publish work in the issue as well. What was provided, we think, creates a unique conversation about the line of influence between young artists and those more established in their careers. This post features work by Erin Carr and her chosen idol, Lyle Ashton Harris.
Erin Carr is a photographer working in New York who received her BFA in photography and video from the School of Visual Arts in 2017. Her latest body of work, Trophy Case, expresses her sentiments about and experiences with white male dominance. "I find myself exposed to the constant presence of whiteness and masculinity, through the settings I come upon in everyday life," she explains, citing examples such as a deer head in an empty ballroom or a bust of a Confederate commander. "These objects can be thought of as trophies that embody the historic dominance and success in the United States that white men have benefited the most from." Her fabricated photographic archive of original work, family photos, and collected paraphernalia allows her viewers to survey evidence of white male power and privilege that existed in the past and persists today.
Her idol for the 2017 Photo Issue, Lyle Ashton Harris, implements a diverse cache of mediums into his art practice, including photography, performance, and collage. From large-scale photomontages to echtochrome archives, Harris uses his work to explore the personal, social, and political impact of ethnicity, race, and gender in today's polarized world. Carr selected Harris as her idol, describing his work as "extremely emotionally vulnerable, yet so thought out and intelligent." His featured series, Today I Shall Judge Nothing That Occurs, documents what Harris describes as "ephemeral moments and emblematic figures shot in the 1980s and 90s, against a backdrop of seismic shifts in the art world, the emergence of multiculturalism, the second wave of AIDS activism, and incipient globalization." This work will be published in book form with Aperture in October 2017.
A New York Native, Harris's work has been exhibited in the Guggenheim Museum, the Whitney Museum of American Art, and the Museum of Modern Art, and it's received extensive recognition throughout the country and internationally. Harris currently teaches at New York University.