September 17, 2011

Nancy Burson

Untitled Composite (from the series Women Who Look Like Mary)- 2006
composite photograph of 6 women

HillarACK- 2008
composite photograph of Hillary Clinton and President Barack Obama

Warhead- 1982
composite photograph of 55%Ronald Reagen,
45% Leonid Brezhnev, and less than 1% Margaret Thatcher,
Francois Mitterrand, and Deng Xiaoping

Visualize This.- 1991
S-4000 Scanning Electron Microscope

First and Second Beauty Composites- 1982
composite photographs,
First Composite: Bette Davis, Audrey Hepburn, Grace Kelley, Sophia Loren, and Marilyn Monroe.
Second Composite: Jane Fonda, Jacqueline Bisset, Diane Keaton, Brooke Shields, and Meryl Streep.

Nancy Burson is the founder of super-imposing! She rose to fame with her innovative work in morphing photographs to illustrate the human similarities between diverse races and sometimes the non-human race. Her work in composite photography has helped the FBI locate missing persons and People magazine's audience with the hope that their favorite celebrities are as beautiful now as they will be in 20+ years with her 'aging' computer technology. Her work has also helped communities affected by AIDS literally picture what the autoimmune disease could potentially do to their immune system. But what's she probably most noted for is 'The Human Race Machine.' The Human Race Machine is Burson's ongoing project, since 1999, that allows people to get into a photo-booth and choose physical features associated with other races and superimpose them, bridging the gap between races and opening the door to 'race' being an "opportunity to move beyond our differences and arrive at our sameness" than a "concept that is political and social."

SOURCE: McDaniel, Craig, and Jean Robertson . Themes of Contemporary Art Visual Art after 1980. 2nd. New York: Oxford University Press, 2010. 60-4. Print.

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