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Catherine Opie

(United States of America 1961 – )

The Bloods, Memorial
printed 2005
Media category
Materials used
type C photograph
1/5 + 2 APs

41.0 x 50.7 cm image; 53.4 x 63.5 cm mount; 66.4 x 56.3 x 3.8 cm frame

Gift of Geoff and Vicki Ainsworth 2009
Accession number
Not on display
Further information

Catherine Opie graduated MFA from CalArts in 1988, she has been teaching at UCLA since 2001. Opie came to notice in the 1990s with her photography of transgendered people and Los Angeles subcultures. She has, more recently photographed surfers along the California coast (these were featured in the 2004 Whitney Biennial), the South Central/West Adams area of Los Angeles where she now lives (‘In and around home’), completed a photo-essay on Chicago, a portrait series on children, and a series on high school footballers (2007). Her exhibition history since the mid 1990s has been extensive throughout Europe, Japan and the US, and she is also an extremely prolific artist producing 19 series in the last 12 years.

Opie’s photography is in many ways an extended and ongoing self portrait, from herself in a variety of roles to the people she knows well through to the environments they variously inhabit, and onto the travels she takes into the interior of the US or along the coast.

In the 2005 series ‘In and around home’, Opie continues her abiding interest in ‘family’. While these appear to be less formal and constructed than her portraits or freeways for example, they are as revealing of life as it is lived in her local LA area.

Bibliography (1)

Jennifer Blessing, Catherine Opie: American photographer, 2008, 224-225.

Exhibition history (1)

Making sense: contemporary LA photo artists, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 11 Feb 2012–13 May 2012