Catherine Opie

Ron Athey
1994

Not on view

Artist
Catherine Opie

Title
Ron Athey

Date
1994

Classification
Photographs

Medium
Chromogenic print

Dimensions
Sheet (sight): 57 × 28 3/16 in. (144.8 × 71.6 cm) Image (sight): 57 × 28 3/16 in. (144.8 × 71.6 cm)

Edition information
1/8

Accession number
95.104

Credit line
Gift of Norman Dubrow

Rights and reproductions information
© artist or artist’s estate


Audio

  • Human Interest

    Catherine Opie, Ron Athey, 1994

    Catherine Opie, Ron Athey, 1994

    0:00

    Narrator: Catherine Opie took this photograph of the performance artist Ron Athey in 1994.

    Catherine Opie: He's just a very incredibly amazing, giving, lovely person who has pushed the boundaries with his own body.

    Narrator: This photograph came from a time when Opie had just started making studio portraits of her friends in the San Francisco leather community. She used brightly colored backdrops intended to recall the northern Renaissance painter Hans Holbein, who is known for the intense humanism of his portraits. Catherine Opie.

    Catherine Opie: By using bright colored backgrounds, I was able to reference Hans Holbein as a painter and begin to create these very loving, political portraits at a time in which my community was decimated by AIDS, and really wanted to talk about the idea of identity politics in relationship to being an out queer person. I wanted to kind of redefine the notion of my own documentary practice, so that the site became the body.



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