Janice Guy – Untitled (1979)

Murray Guy is one of the most preeminent galleries for photography, film and video.

Janice Guy is the co-founder and co-owner through March 2017.

She founded the gallery in the 1990s after moving to NYC from Düsseldorf, Germany.

In Düsseldorf, she studied photography at Kunstakademie Düsseldorf, working closely with Bernd and Hilla Becher.

Being a woman and a photographer preoccupied with self-portraiture, she’s frequently lumped together with folks like Ana Mendieta, Cindy Sherman and Francesca Woodman–the operative framing being fixated on artists as both simultaneously author and subject.

To think of it that way strikes me as a bit lazy. It fits–with certain limits–for Sherman and Woodman–less so for Mendieta; however, most of Guy’s photos feel less like self-portraiture and more like proto-selfies.

If one were to describe Guy’s work she documents herself as a photographer considering herself in a mirror–i.e. she’s not setting up the camera like Sherman or Woodman and then positioning herself in front of it; she’s interested in including considerations of process in her product (if you subtract capitalist connotations and instead consider the term in a more mathematical sense).

She’s nude in most of her work–except for a utilitarian wristwatch.

Her work wasn’t really exhibited until the late aughts–but there continues to be interest in it to this day and I suspect that interest may even grow down the line.

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