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Photography by Linda Kramer, Lisa Levine,
Peter Tonningsen and Jan Watten

May 22- June 28, 2009

Bound by the thread of identity, four Bay Area photographers join together in this group show at Autobody Fine Art. Each addresses this theme with their own unique artistic sensibility, capturing individuals from the rich multicultural environment of the Bay Area, where people identify themselves in the context of their ethnicity, class, culture, gender and age.

In her "American Carnival Portraits" Linda Kramer photographs subjects who exude a strong presence that brings into focus the drama of each person's life. The images are printed large to transmit the attitude of the subject, and to highlight the compelling details that convey something different to each viewer examining the photograph.

Lisa Levine includes images from "Past-Tense", a series in which she uses old photographs from family albums and other found photographs as a starting point for digitally constructed images. Levine sees photography as a powerful mechanism for constructing and/or reconstructing identity and memory. These works explore ideas about the identities of the people and the stories of their lives based on their photographs.

Peter Tonningsen draws from his project "Paper Dolls" featuring women wearing dresses imbued with significant personal history in a series of enchanting vignettes. These pictures are portraits in the traditional sense, but they are also collaborative fictions; a cast of characters choreographed to masquerade everyday identity in favor of playfully pretending or enacting some type of enigmatic personal drama or flight of the imagination.

Jan Watten photographs of youth culture in "Parts" are abstract and isolated fragments of young people who are childlike yet on the verge of forming into the adult they will soon become. The images depict components of their identity that reveal a much larger story about the search for personal identity in a time of transition, revealing that time of flux between innocence and maturity, and portraying the last strands of childhood and innocence that reside just below the surface.

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Linda Kramer
Lisa Levine
Peter Tonningsten
Jan Watten