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Lauren Simkin Berke
BROOKLYN, NY
Neighborhood: Williamsburg



ARTIST STATEMENT: Since the invention of the camera people have used photography as a way to document their work, families, environment and themselves. Fairly early in photography's infancy, middle and upper class people, in industrialized countries, were taking advantage of this tool by which they could develop a tangible myth of their existence, such that future generations of their families would be able to see them, and therefore know them. In a world of diaspora, assimilation, and globalized capitalism, there is a growing disconnect from personal histories; family photographs are no longer the prized possessions they once were. I can go into second hand stores or flea markets in any town or city in America and acquire photographs of someone else's family. Somehow, somewhere down the line someone had no connection to them, and decided to either sell them, give them away, or throw them out with the trash. I've been drawing, in ink on paper, from found photographs for almost a decade, and using these drawings to create paintings, prints and mixed media work. The photographs I've drawn from rage from Victorian studio portraits to 20th century snapshots, high school yearbook portraits to vacation photos of people posing with historic landmarks and natural vistas. My latest exhibit, Small Items Enclosed, featured several large paintings along with over 100 figurines placed in three-dimensional environments, made in an extended play process of drawing, painting and assemblage.
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