(Photo credit: Gentleman #32 by Erica Allen)

Director’s Selection: Erica Allen

Brooklyn-based photographer Erica Allen examines our preconceived notions of identity through both historical and contemporary viewpoints. By means of photographic ready-mades, Allen’s series Untitled Gentlemen features digital composite images that are constructed with “anonymous faces from contemporary barbershop hairstyle posters combined with figures from discarded studio photographs.”  Due to Allen’s source material, her series touches upon themes of gender, race, and fashion.

(Photo credit: Erica Allen. From the Untitled Gentlemen series.)

The constructed “gentlemen” in the images are peculiarly intimate while, at the same time, they are also anonymous. In her artist statement, Allen discusses the relationship between her work and the viewer:

I am interested in shifting the frame of how we encounter and interpret images to investigate the meaning and construction of the photographic image. This work aims to encourage the viewer to reflect upon their own interpretation and projection of identity in the photograph.

More of Erica’s work can be found at www.ericaallenphotography.com