Stephanie Diamond, Posed in Between Faces for Snapshots, 2007
Maybe I am too easily pleased by simple concepts, but I can’t help but be charmed by the photographs of Stephanie Diamond. Featured above is one of many photographs taken in the series Posed in Between Faces for Snapshots, whereby the artist asks her subjects to pose in a moment just prior to having their picture taken. It’s a wry idea; on the surface almost too straightforward and predictable for its own good. And yet, the results are a little more surprising than you’d think since almost all the staged photographs perfectly replicate unintended shots. I suspect photography makes reproducing these moments little easier than say the happy accident a painter might seek to recapture, but the staging reveals the fact that these captured frames we’re meant to forget are actually permanently marked in our cultural consciousness.
Stephanie Diamond, New York Friends and Puerto Rican Friends Pretending to Friends, 2004
C-Prints, 4X6 inches
In another similarly staged series shot three years ago, Diamond asked her friends visiting from Puerto Rico to pretend to be friends with her New York friends. I suppose on some level it’s an essentially purposeless project; I mean, what are these photos past false documentation of an artists social life? Can they be an effective mediation on the purpose of medium? To my mind yes, because it’s not like the artist decided to take a few of these pictures and then lock them up in a closet, (though if she did, it would end up here,) she purposefully contextualizes the work within a fine art setting. In the past I have been rather skeptical of intentionality that transforms regular objects into art, but I figure, if I gave Duchamp a pass on his shovel, I should probably let this one go too. Also, I tend to like fictional accounts of anything.
Stephanie Diamond, Biography
Stephanie Diamond is an artist and educator who lives and works in Queens. She has exhibited at the Queens Museum, The Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art, Secret Project Robot, Para-Site Gallery, Cuchitofritos Gallery, Sculpture Center, Humble Arts Foundation and Gitana Rosa Gallery to name just a few. A Showhegan School of Painting and Sculpture alumni, Diamond has spoken to numerous universities as a visiting artist, including Parsons, RISD and NYU.