The stunningly confronting photographs of the late artist Tracey Baran scare me. There, I said it. Not like a horror film or grotesque monster on TV, but they scare me with their honesty, cruelty, sexuality and simpleness. Her work titled “Me, Myself and You” (2007) creates a threesome between us as the viewer, the artist, and the artist’s reflection. The gaze of her reflection is so piercing that the image itself is flipped, giving me the impression that we are in fact looking at an upside-down picture.
Baran photographs her subjects in varying states of action and most of the time they look awkward and uncomfortable. My favorite of her works is definitely “Suck and Blow” (2002) , where a man blows smoke into a woman’s mouth and she receives it almost seductively. Many of Baran’s images are charged with such a sexualiszed energy that is at times disorienting – I think it’s always nice to be jolted back into reality.
“Suck and Blow” (2002)
“Me, Myself and You” (2007)
Article by: Marion Piper