© Zoe StraussI admit it. I have a complete photo crush on Zoe Strauss. I have never met her, so it's hard to nail down why I have become so enamored of late. The source of my shine may be the immense talent that put her in the Whitney Biennial. It may be because she is single-handedly stripping away the crusty mantle of art world pretension that has built up between artists, their subjects, and the public. It may because she has pulled back the curtain and demystified the creative process making her photography completely accessible and her progression refreshingly democratic.
I think these are crush-worthy qualities, but what really has me smitten is that she seems to do it all with an infectious combination of bad ass spunk and a pure, unflinching glee. Zoe's energy is an addictive force, not unlike chocolate covered crack. You can get a sense of it in the trailer for the new documentary about her and her work, If You Break The Skin.
I consider myself pretty fortunate to be in a group show with Zoe this month in Chicago. The show is part of Version Fest and is being curated by the dynamic duo of Chicagraphy, Brian Ulrich and Jon Gitelson. I will post more about the show later.
Zoe, if you go to the opening I promise to keep the fawning to a minimum.