The Rose Portrait Series offers a deeply complex photographic look at the way we view and consume women’s bodies in Western Culture today.
The portraits in the series present a personal presence against a muted backdrop of traditionally feminine signifiers. The structural elements in the photographs (no makeup, bare chest and shoulders, pendent necklace, and “Thursday afternoon” hair) frame the portraits as asking the viewer, “Do you see me?” rather than offering an embodied product.
The formal lighting and horizontal orientation further reveal their ethnographic qualities, not unlike Catherine Opie’s “Being and Having” series, and separates this series from a more documentary approach.
In meeting the gaze of the viewer, the women manage to hold their own power and autonomy and subtly challenge the consumptive relationship Western culture has towards women’s bodies.