Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Lauren Greenfield

Lauren Greenfield

Picture 23

Picture 5

Picture 3

Picture 4

Picture 8

Picture 17

Picture 21

Picture 16

Picture 22

Picture 24

Picture 20

Lauren Greenfield
(American, 1966 - )

Artist Statement for her Girl Culture series:

Girl Culture has been my journey as a photographer, as an observer of culture, as part of the media, as a media critic, as a woman, as a girl.

These photographs are both very personal and very public. They are about what is private and what is public and where the line that divides the two lies, when that line exists at all anymore. They are about the popular culture we share and the way the culture leaves its imprint on individuals in their most public and private moments. They are about the girls I photographed. They are also about me. I was enmeshed in girl culture before I was a photographer, and I was photographing girl culture before I realized I was working on Girl Culture.

In this work, I have been drawn to the pathological in the everyday. I am interested in the tyranny of the popular and thin girls over the ones who don’t fit that mold. I am interested in the competition suffered by the popular girls, and their sense that being popular is not as satisfying as it appears. I am interested in the costly and time-consuming beauty rituals that are an integral part of daily life. I am interested in the fact that to fall outside the ideal body type is to be a modern-day pariah. I am interested in how girls’ feelings of frustration, anger, and sadness are expressed in physical and self-destructive ways: controlling their food intake, cutting their bodies, being sexually promiscuous. Most of all, I am interested in the element of performance and exhibitionism that seems to define the contemporary experience of being a girl.

These interests, my own memories, and a genuine love for girls, gossip, female bonding, and the idiosyncratic rituals of girl culture, have motivated this five-year photographic journey.

There are girls and women in my photographs whom viewers may see as marginal or whose lives may be perceived as extreme. In effect, the popular culture has caused the ordinary to become inextricably intertwined with what to many seems extraordinary. Most girls are familiar with “marginal” experiences from television, magazines, and music. A suburban teenager says she would like to become an exotic dancer. A prepubescent girl mimics the sexualized moves and revealing clothing that she sees on MTV. Understanding the dialectic between the extreme and the mainstream—the anorexic and the dieter, the stripper and the teenager who bares her midriff or wears a thong—is essential to understanding contemporary feminine identity.

The body has become the primary canvas on which girls express their identities, insecurities, ambitions, and struggles. It has become a palimpsest on which many of our culture’s conflicting messages about femininity are written and rewritten.

Photography is an ideal medium with which to explore the role of image in our culture. The camera renders an illusion of objective representation, just like a mirror. But as every woman knows, a mirror provides data that, filtered through a mind and moods, is subject to wildly differing interpretations. This project has been my mirror and my attempt to deconstruct the illusions that make up our reality.

Artist biography



Andhari said...

some of the pictures are SEXY. I love it

The Empress said...

What I love about finding this blog, is that it is something I can't find anywhere else.

You know how if you have beans and hot dogs every night, you get sick of it. Then, once in awhile, there's a fresh salad!!

That is what this blog is like for me.

Something so very different, and stimulating, and exciting.

Thank you. I cant see how much work it takes.

Emilie said...

Cool pics!

Char said...

the world is crazy - it sexualizes women but then condemns when children act sexy. not that i think children act sexy, but when they see parents or other adults out of control (not just on MTV or whatever, but in real life) why should we think they would not want to emulate that? adults are "hero" figures - children often don't know (or care) if the heroes are flawed...until it is too often, too late.

and yes...i know..i wanted to look sexy at 13 too.

Georgina Dollface said...

Wow, usually I have something quick and witty to say but photo #8 really rattled me. - G

bananas. said...

Whoa whoa whoa! What is going on with the gang rape-ish picture?! Yikes!

The one of the chick grabbing her flab is so me sometimes. Overall i love what this photographer was able to capture.

Katy Mary said...

These are great, Ms. Greenfield was able to capture some very raw and real moments in these photos. Thanks for sharing!

Jill said...

I'm with Georgina...a little reminiscent of scary college frat party days.

ticklishfromadistance said...


Iva said...

"The body has become the primary canvas on which girls express their identities, insecurities, ambitions, and struggles. "

so sad really.

The photographer has really dont a remarkable job with these images!

Iva said...


ugh so sorry!

The Seeker said...

You never fail to amase me!



Glenda C said...

these pictures are really great!

Len♥reNeverM♥re said...

great commentary J!
I want to know what airline is that with showgirl flight attendant?!

Midtown Girl said...

I would totally love to wear that bikini shirt around Midtown and take pics of the people's reactions - would be priceless!!

Lannie said...

cool pictures! very interesting post, love reading about lauren.


i think it's great that pictures can comprehend the lives in a very mimicking way cos sometimes life is funny in a way. it feels sick to struggle life with identity cos it gets pathetic when a culture tries to slap it in your face. it's like a peer pressure i hate the most from a society. and photography is one of my life resolution.

great post.



SabinePsynopsis said...

The line between public and private... Very interesting subject in our time. The pictures are great and some of them feel so uncomfortable - like a modern Diane Arbus.

Lynn said...

That last picture looks like my sister's house! Love your blog.

Erin Elizabeth said...

Thanks for sharing this...I'm a little disturbed by the eigth photo. I always love your art posts.

Kitty Stampede said...

Wow...amazing. I absolutely adore her statement on Girl Culture. and her photographs, of course. So real. and so fake. she covered it all in such a beautiful, raw and grotesque manner. I feel for girls growing up into this disgustingly over sexualized culture where it's solely on how you and your body look. so not realistic. i am not a prude at all, but i think it's gone too far. watching the new videos like lady gaga and what girls look to for role models makes me want to vomit ten times over, there is no class, only raunch. it's a shame, really. i could go on, but i'll shove it.
thanks for sharing these thought provoking photos!!! :D

Kitty Stampede said...

And I 100%+ agree with what The Empress had to say!!! i hope you know that. :D

Felicia said...

Is this the same gal that did the Anorexia book? I've been thinking about getting that.

hope505 said...

Great post, Drolls! Good food fer the brain...

fishy said...

Very much liked.

MarchMusings said...

Some are funny ones and some are disturbing but all make you think!

blueviolet said...

I was disturbed by some of the images, but I'm really glad you included the artist's info there for some perspective on her vision.

Pearl said...

That was incredible. Nicely done!


The Zhush said...

Compelling, sad, amusing and somewhat disturbing....all at once, not familiar with her work, thanks for the intro, fascinating to say the least.

Jen said...

Seriously, these photos are the best! The best that I've seen all month in fact! I love pictures of the human body and obviously this photographer captured everything we like and hate about ourselves. Stunning, Stunning, Stunning.

the spectator said...

Ditto to all of the above comments.

No. 8 is disturbing. More so with those two girls laughing in the background.

Krystal said...

This was very intriguing - I love what she is doing here. She definitely caught that 'line' in these pictures - I was drawn to seeing them but also ashamed for them or something - so I think the photos are working however they should be!

love jenny xoxo said...

interesting photos and article about the photographer, she really captures a lot of what girls go through - definitely not easy!

Phoenix said...

Yeah... Photo #8 was more than a little weird. I'm not sure what's going on there but the look on the guy's face whom the girl is being bent towards is in itself kind of disturbing. Yeesh.

These photos are very honest and raw. Women go through a lot of shit to please all of society's double standards about them and these photographs capture it well. All you have to do to know what I'm talking about is read a celebrity gossip magazine where a woman is blasted for being too thin and then next week she's made fun of for gaining that weight back. I mean, good Christ, is there about a 5 lb safe zone where women don't get judged?

Down and Out Chic said...

the artist's statement is as compelling as the photographs themselves. we like to think we're so different especially when it comes to marginalized groups and yet, YET, we are all on the same continuum and if we're honest we see glimpses of ourselves in those we think would provide the most unlikely reflection.
bravo drollgirl for sharing yet another incredible artist!

Kathryn said...

While there are several pics I can't relate to, the ones that do are are powerful, which makes her a great artist.

What teen girl hasn't squished her boob together to try to give herself super cleavage like in the first photo?

The girl in the 2nd photo seems to have it all yet is many times have we all envied someone to find out their life isn't perfect?

Showgirl on a plane...can't relate to this one.

Friends hamming it up in fake hot body scenes was the fodder of every County Fair attended.

The next girl, hot guy, but still she seems depressed. Sort of like my last engagement - looked great on the outside but he was an a$$ that just wanted a Mommy to take care of him which made me depressed, even though he looked hot.

Girl at the beach about to take her top off for the photo - there is many a seedy dude that will push your limits if you are young and ignorant and believe stupid stuff like they will make you a famous model because you look hot..nuff said.

Next pic is like 7th grade Home Ec class all over again where I wore where I a K-Mart $2 bra that squished one boob while making the other one protude and the teacher asking me if one was an B cup and the other a D and everyone laughing and making me feel like a deformed freak.

Next one is kinda gross - almost looks like she is about to be gangbanged and would lose in Court because if she cried rape it looks like she started it by her actions. Make me thankful I don't have a daughter and scared for friends that do.

The next one reminds me of my college roommate who was near genius because she pushed herself so hard and equally anorexic. The scale said 77 lbs and she admitted it hurt her to sit down because she could feel her bones but she still felt she looked fat. No attempts to intervene and get her into counseling seemed to help, but last I heard she was still a living twig with a doctorate and a professor at a very prestigious university. Another girl with the same affliction was not so lucky..she passed away in her early 30's.

Next one..muscled hot women. Nope not one of those and can't relate.

The last pic of the boy in the messy big room makes me ever so thankful that my 16 year old's son's room is not any bigger than it is because that would be that much more or a flat surface that may never see the light of day again.