Suits (2008-2009)

“Suits,” a set of digitally manipulated media images, are extreme close-ups of political women’s clothing. These images raise questions about the construction of public personality for women politicians. The attention paid to Hillary Clinton’s pantsuits or Michelle Obama’s dresses is a perfect microcosm of the way women are framed in politics as both surface and object, their femininity exaggerated, maligned or questioned. Using very small source files, I blow up sections of the politicians’ apparel and then blur them to the point that they become abstracted, almost but not quite unrecognizable. The different sartorial choices made by different political figures (or their wives) reflect not only party lines, but also a whole range of related and conflicting ideologies about a woman’s place in public life. Printed at 20”x30”, the images in “Suits” function both as classic portraits and subversive blow-ups.

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