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Saturation: the everyday transformed

Artist Profile

Eva O’Leary. Photo by Don Stahl.

Eva O’Leary

‘The portraits capture the intricacies of self-presentation and highlight a young woman’s discomfort when she sees an image in the mirror that fails to live up to her desires.’

We’re continuing our SATURATION spotlight series with visual artist Eva O’Leary and her photographic portraits featured in the exhibition.

Spitting Image (2017) comprises fourteen portraits of ‘self-identifying girls between the ages of eleven and fourteen, reacting to their reflection through a two-way mirror.’

Installation view of Spitting Image (2017). Photo by Jed Niezgoda.
Installation view of Spitting Image (2017). Photo by Jed Niezgoda.

Using a large-format 8x10 camera, O’Leary notes that ‘these girls – who belong to a generation fluent in selfies, tags on social media, and using iPhone cameras as mirrors – understand how to construct identity through images. Nonetheless, the gulf between their appearance and the commercial imagery with which they are inundated remains vast.’

Eva O’Leary (b.1989) primarily works through photography and video to navigate structural and social systems that perpetuate ideologies of fantasy, power, and control within American society. Her work specifically focuses on the impact these systems have on young women and their experience in the world.

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