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Robert Horvath

           

           


           

     

           


A photogram is "a photographic image made without a camera by placing objects directly onto the surface of a photo-sensitive material such as photographic paper and then exposing it to light. The result is a negative shadow image varying in tone, depending on the transparency of the objects used. Areas of the paper that have received no light appear white; those exposed through transparent or semi-transparent objects appear grey." (Wikipedia)

In this series of new photograms by Karen Savage, the subjects are children's and doll's dresses. The doll is a surrogate for the child and a familiar cultural icon. Savage grew up with the "Tiny Tears" and "Revlon" dolls from decades past; most of us are familiar with the "Barbie" and "American Girl" dolls that are popular today. Children's dresses are grounded in culture, garments which symbolize innocence, promise, optimism, and hope for the future; especially a cherished christening dress, representing a state of grace, milestone, and a ritualistic event. These translucent and empty dresses express loss and growth. The series of photograms is in large part autobiographical for Savage, but also touches upon the traditional female collective in our culture.