Katy Grannan's new work The Westerns features large format portraits of individuals living on the west coast of America. The artist describes these subjects as ânew pioneers' attempting to define themselves against the backdrop of the American west coast and an unrelenting Pacific sunlight.
Gail and Dale are two middle-aged transsexuals and best friends whose carefully coordinated clothing, hair and nails reflect both a sense of escapism and their deeper need to be visible. By contrast, Nicole is almost unrecognisable from one photograph to the next, as she changes from blond bombshell to boyish teenager.
Grannan's subjects appear like hallucinations, uncanny and yet familiar. Through this she explores the uneasy relationship between fixed photographic portraiture and shifting personal identities, at the point where fantasy meets reality.
Katy Grannan (USA, 1969) lives and works near San Francisco. Her photographs have been exhibited in the 2004 Whitney Biennial and the 2004 Arles Photo Festival. She is a recipient of the 2004 Baum Award for Emerging American Photographers and her work is in major private and public collections internationally.
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