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Susan Barnett
"Not In Your Face"

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Susan Barnett, Gay is Not a Punchline,
C-Print, 2014/2015.

Artist Statement
These photographs are not about the t-shirt per se. "Not In Your Face" is a series about identity, validation, and perception. I look for individuals who stand out in a crowd by the choice of the message on their back. The messages are combinations of pictures and words that reveal much about the identity of the wearer. They tell us who these people are, who they want to be, and what they want us to know about them. They advertise hopes, ideals, dislikes, political views, and personal mantras.

These individuals create their own iconography exploring the cultural, political, and social issues that impact our lives today. In light of bullying and stereotyping, "Not In Your Face" seeks a better understanding of our own judgments and biases. It presents a time capsule of the kind of messages that people are willing to wear and share without fear of reprisal.

Artist Bio
When George Harrison arrived in New York for the Beatles' historic visit he was carrying a Pentax Spotmatic as he descended the airplane's steps. Susan Barnett, then 15 years old, soon bought the same Pentax and began to photograph her everyday life such as it appeared to her.

With a formal education in Art History and Studio Art, she landed a job at Perls Galleries on Madison Avenue, where she worked for twelve years as Associate Director. She handled Picasso, Braque, Leger and Matisse as well as preparing exhibitions and catalogues for Alexander Calder. Next door to Perls Galleries was Light Gallery, one of the earliest galleries to show Contemporary Photography. There Susan experienced first hand the work of Steven Shore and Lee Friedlandler.

In 1990 she went back to school to study graphic design and computer based photography at the School of Visual Arts, where she studied with Milton Glaser and Paul Davis. Susan currently lives in Manhattan, where she maintains a working studio in Tribeca and sails in Hampton Bays.







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