Though Catherine Opie may be best known for her shocking self-portraits (who could forget the 1994 image of her in an s/m leather mask with the word “PERVERT” carved into her chest?), over the years the often-dubbed “lesbian Robert Mapplethorpe” appears to have mellowed, taking on scenic landscapes and everyday life in the suburbs. In the Guggenheim’s major mid-career survey Catherine Opie: American Photographer, you’ll see Opie’s best work as a social documentarian obsessed with the way communities form, from her intense 1990s portraits of the queer community in L.A. and San Francisco to scenic shots of surfers in Malibu and ice fishers in Minnesota. Even more recently, she’s taken to capturing everyday life among her family and friends in her Los Angeles neighborhood—though, of course, she still manages to find an unabashed cross-dresser: her son Oliver at play in a pink tutu and princess crown.
Tuesdays-Saturdays, 10 a.m. Starts: Sept. 26. Continues through Jan. 5, 2008
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on September 23, 2008