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Works from Cabinet Portrait Series joins LACMA's Permanent Collection

Updated: Mar 29

The Cabinet Portrait Series features mixed media collage portraits with powdered pigment, pastel, and graphite, NFTS, and mixed media cabinet card collages inspired from the exhibition Acting Out Cabinet Cards and the Making of Modern Photography at Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

Cabinet Portrait: Wife Portrait, 2022

joins Los Angeles County Museum of Art, LACMA's Permanent Collection through LENS: Photography Council Acquisition . Other works included are Cabinet Cards 1-5, 2016-2022 which is a suite of collaged works, NFTs, and NFT Prints.

About Cabinet Portrait: Wife Portrait, 2022

mixed media with powdered pigment, pastel, and graphite, 40 x 60 in.

This work features the artist in her wedding dress, an All Saints Parachute Dress, and jewelry given to her by her husband, artist Chris Christion, made by Black designers, the necklace and headpiece are by- aphia sakyi and the wedding ring by Adorn-Adorn. The artist prominently displays her hands, not only revealing her wedding ring, but also her tattoo on her left pointer finger, "opifex" Latin for artisan.

Areas of the portrait are pixelated, relating to the medium of digital photography. A melanin ghost, imagery included in the artists collage lexicon is included in the bottom left hand corner of the image. The sepia tone back drop not only mimics the tonal values of early photography, but also relates to the brown skin tone of the sitter and the relationship between sitter, ground, color, and the reading and making of identity in photography.

The graphite color of the wedding dress is in line with late 19th century wedding dresses, which were often dark in color, and worn throughout the woman's life for formal or special occasions. The color of the dress and surface are heavily worked with graphite and pastel, creating areas that are both painterly and reflective.

Cabinet Cards 1-5, 2016-2022, suite of collaged cabinet card works, NFTs, and NFT Prints.

About the Exhibition: Acting Out Cabinet Cards and the Making of Modern Photography

Acting Out: Cabinet Cards and the Making of Modern Photography, 1870–1900 offers the first-ever in-depth examination of cabinet cards. Inexpensive and sold by the dozen, cabinet cards were America’s main format for photographic portraiture through the last three decades of the 19th century, just prior to the introduction of the snapshot camera. Earlier, getting a photographic portrait was a formal, rare event; the new format made it commonplace.

This exhibition reveals how professional photographers and their sitters across the United States introduced immediacy to studio portraiture, transforming their sessions into avenues of fun and personal expression. Sections will trace the cabinet card’s evolution, from its beginnings in celebrity culture, through the marketing and advertising strategies of practitioners, to the diverse behaviors that people brought to their sittings. With Americans embracing photography as a fact of everyday life and playing with the medium’s believability, cabinet cards made photography modern.

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Thank you to the folks at LACMA for your generous support!

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