Strangely Attracted

I photograph people: strangers, friends, family. In museums I also photograph people in artworks. For these I move in close, avoid faces and frame hands. I’ve had no plans for these hand details—I just make them.

Recently, on a monitor, I reviewed grids of my photographs from the past year. These included images made while I meandered through town, road-tripped 6000 miles in the U.S., traveled in The Netherlands, visited family, and walked countless miles through cities and museums. Mouse in hand, I began to move images around. Suddenly, a young girl, her leg raised in front of a mirror, interacted with the arms and legs of Nightlife dancers in a Mosley painting. Thus began Strangely Attracted.

I work with my archive continuously. What seems like a great conversation between images at first may not stand the test of time. As I juxtapose daily life with the artworks, I discover more in each. A close reading within frames and across frames brings new understands. Rather than mundane, I have begun to see my photographs of everyday life as worthy markers of memory, time and place and I feel more deeply the emotional tug and humanity represented in the mystery of the artwork details.

Strangely Attracted 2, A series of diptychs by karen davis

L-Detail, Nightlife by Archibald Motley, Art Institute of Chicago – R-Science Museum (NEMO), Amsterdam, The Netherlands

 

 

Strangely Attracted 3, Karen Davis

L-Detail, De Style by Kerry James Marshall, Met Breuer NYC -R-Fundraising party, Hudson NY

 

Strangely Attracted 3, Karen Davis -L-Detail, Sculpture by John Ahearn, PS1 NYC -R-Birthday Party, Rhode Island

Strangely Attracted 3, Karen Davis -L-Detail, Sculpture by John Ahearn, PS1 NYC -R-Birthday Party, Rhode Island

Detail, American Wing, Metropolitan Museum of Art NYC -R-Bantam Lake CT

L-Detail, American Wing, Metropolitan Museum of Art NYC -R-Bantam Lake CT

Strangely Attracted 5, Karen Davis

L-Detail, American Wing, Metropolitan Museum of Art NYC -R-Inauguration of Mayor, her Family, Hudson NY

L- Detail, Newark Art Museum R-Jamaican Restaurant near Wynwood District, Miami FL

L- Detail, Newark Art Museum R-Jamaican Restaurant near Wynwood District, Miami FL

L –Detail, Wadsworth Antheneum - R-Guggenheim line, Friday evenings free, E 88th St NYC

L –Detail, Wadsworth Antheneum – R-Guggenheim line, Friday evenings free, E 88th St NYC

Strangely Attracted 8, L-Detail, Subway, Public Works of Art Project NY 1934 by Lily Furodi, Smithsonian American Art Museum -R- Hong Kong metro

L-Detail, Subway, Public Works of Art Project NY 1934 by Lily Furodi, Smithsonian American Art Museum -R- Hong Kong metro

Strangely Attracted 9, L- Detail, At Mouquin’s by William Glackens –R-Sunday afternoon, Claverack NY

L- Detail, At Mouquin’s by William Glackens –R-Sunday afternoon, Claverack NY

L-Detail, no world, Kara Walker, Smithsonian Museum of African American Art and Culture – R Gallery talk, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago

 

 

 

 

 

 

Strangely Attracted 9, Karen Davis

L-Montreal Museum of Fine Art, Quebec, Canada -R-Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Strangely Attracted 1, Karen Davis - Detail and wall print, by Hassan Hajjaj, Worcester Art Museum, Worcester MA

L-Detail and wall print by Hassan Hajjaj, Worcester Art Museum, Worcester MA – R-Chinatown NYC

L-Warren St. Hudson NY, R- Installation, Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh PA

L – Installation, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago IL, R- Laundromat, Oak Park IL