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Miyako Yoshinaga Gallery : Melissa Shook : Early Self-Portraits 1972-1973


The Miyako Yoshinaga gallery presents till the 15 th of October Melissa Shook, an American photographer, artist, writer, and educator who passed away in 2020 at age 79.
The gallery will feature a solo exhibition by Shook, presenting compelling black-and-white self-portraits she created in the early 1970s
Photographs are memory, a way of tricking fate…, talismans against loss, a bargain with death,” wrote Shook in her essay for Camera Arts in 1981. This exhibition examines her early photographs haunted by the unreliability of memory.
Having lost her mother at 12 and only retaining vague memories of her childhood, Shook began photographing her biracial daughter when she was one year old.
As she struggled with her own fragmented identity as a single mother, Shook, at age 33, embarked on the daily self-portrait project in December 1972.
The Daily Self-Portraits 1972-1973 series is a pioneering project exploring intimate female identity in photography.
Shook captured herself in a simple setting in her downtown New York loft against an empty wall space.
Over the next 8 months, Shook developed a personal landscape, taking control of her attractive body while feeling shy, playful, melancholic, tired, or intimidated.
With potted avocado plants often by her side, Shook posed wearing worn-out jeans, a wrinkled chintz robe, bath towels, etc.


Melissa Shook: Early Self-Portraits 1972-1973
September 8 — October 15, 2022
Miyako Yoshinaga Gallery
24 East 64th Street
New York NY10065

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