American photographer and visual artist born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Education: Photography and Fine Art studies, The University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee and The Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design. Summer Intern at The Maine Photographic Workshops, assisted Arnold Newman, Sally Gall, Eugene Richards, Mary Ellen Mark & Bruce Goodman. Work Experience: Worked for The Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design for the last 8 years as a Photography Lab Technician, Coordinator of the Photography Department and adjunct faculty. Exhibitions: Elizabeth Houston Gallery, New York; Hous Projects, New York; Aperture, New York; Catherine Edelman Gallery, Chicago; Center of the Arts at Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA; The Portrait Society Gallery, Milwaukee; The Newspace Photo Center, Portland, OR; Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design, Milwaukee, WI; and The Charles Allis Art Museum, Milwaukee, WI. Publication Features & Reviews: The New Yorker, L’Oeill de la Photographie, I-D Vice, Refinery29.com, CNN Worldwide Photos, Zoom Magazine, The British Journal of Photography, The New Republic, LENSCRATCH, LensCulture, and American Photography 29. Collections: both private and public, in The National Library of France, Paris and the J Crew Corporate Collection to name a few.
"A Modern Hair Study"
In 2011, I visited the photo archives of the National Library of France. While everything was inspirational, one photograph haunted me for months following my visit. “Hair Study”, by Felix Nadar depicts just a womanʼs back and her hair.
I could not stop thinking about what that same image would look like today.
“a modern hair study” consists of portraits of young women photographed from behind. By focusing on the back, the viewer is forced to contend with all of the peripheral things that make each woman unique.
In these intimate portraits I am a voyeur concentrating on a generation that is not mine. While certain ideals are often relevant to different generations, the ways in which women adorn and modify themselves often indicate the struggles of a young adult with their own ideology and individuality.
After photographing these women, I can imagine these struggles are timeless. Existing today as well as when the original Nadar portrait was taken.
A lock of hair can signify different things for many cultures. It can be a way to possess someone or it can be about holding on to the memory of a loved one that has died. Throughout history there have been many examples of the significance of the lock of hair, from jewelry made of a loved one’s hair to clips of hair attached to a photograph of a loved one that has passed. Today, with science and technology, we can identify traits, genes, and habits from the DNA of one strand of hair.
I came across some locks given to me by students in 2010, tucked away in my desk drawer, and it became clear that I should respond to them. I began asking people that I knew to send me locks of their hair.
The clean and almost scientific approach to the locks was my way of detaching myself of my sentiments to them. In an attempt to strip the locks of their meaning, it becomes obvious that we cannot remove the intricate and unique differences of hair, identity and physical evidence of the self.
"Related Woman", as the title would suggest, is a series of still life portraits of three women who are connected to each other by blood. Who would know they would not want to be photographed? In order to capture the essence of the three women, Tara asked each to create a still life of objects that represented themselves. These women have their different roles in the relationship to each other Mother-Sister, Sister-Aunt, and Daugther-Niece and on occasion the roles can be fluid. The still life images become a collection of beautiful and exotic objects, but more importantly, intimate and revealing portraits of each woman and the bond that they have with each other.