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Photographer Greta Pratt's Work Cited in Art in America Magazine

From 'Liberty' series: Ramone Williams

Greta Pratt, assistant professor of photography at Old Dominion University, was among 45 artists who exhibited their work at the Thirteenth International Biennial of Photography and Photo-related Art (FotoFest 2010) in Houston.

The theme of this year's event was "Contemporary U.S. Photography" and Pratt's work was included in the "Road to Nowhere?" exhibition, curated by Natasha Egan, associate director and curator of the Museum of Contemporary Photography at Columbia College Chicago. According to the FotoFest website, "Egan's selections explore the United States at the close of the 'American Century' as the nation negotiates its transition from Cold War superpower to an embattled, economically fragile nation."

The June/July print edition of Art in America included an article titled "Dispatches from the Brink," with a review of the festival that mentions Pratt's work and features a photograph from her series, "Liberty" (2009). According to reviewer Jean Dykstra, "The shows were thoughtful, coherent and far from cheerful; there is widespread wariness about where the country is headed and who is being left behind."

In her artist's statement on her website, Pratt explains why she elected to use the day laborers, or "wavers," employed by Liberty Tax Service as her subjects for this project:

"I was first drawn to the wavers, as everyone is, by the unexpected sight of someone dancing on an urban street corner dressed as the Statue of Liberty. But after hearing their stories I became interested in them as individuals. I found that all of those I photographed are thankful to be working. Most of their prior job experiences have been in the service industry, from customer service at Wal-Mart to fast food cook to motel housekeeping. Some are disabled and at least one is currently homeless. All of them are struggling to make ends meet, particularly in the current economic crisis."

Pratt's "Nine Lincolns" (2000) was included in the Frye Art Museum's "The Old, Weird America: Folk Themes in Contemporary Art" exhibit earlier this year in Seattle. She noted that she is still working to complete the "Liberty" series.

Read more news stories about Pratt's photography here:
Greta Pratt's Lincoln Op-Art in New York Times
Greta Pratt's "American Identity" Exhibit at Gordon Galleries

This article was posted on: July 27, 2010

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