Siri Kaur

Siri Kaur received her MFA from The California Institute of the Arts, and an MA and BA from Smith College. Solo exhibitions include Crow’s Field at Kopeikin Gallery, Los Angeles; This Kind of Face at Cohen Gallery, Los Angeles and at 99¢ Plus, New York; Know Me for the First Time at Blythe Projects, Los Angeles; Rob and Heather and Chris and Otto and Koral… at The Vermont Center for Photography, Brattleboro, Vermont, and Field Trip at 3001 Gallery, Los Angeles. Group shows include those at the Aperture Foundation, New York; The Portland Museum of Art, Portland, Maine; Angles Gallery, Los Angeles; The Camera Club of New York; The Torrance Museum of Art; and The California Triennial of Photography at the Museum of Photographic Arts, San Diego. Kaur’s work has been reviewed in ARTFORUM, art ltd., Art Practical, Artillery Magazine, The Los Angeles Times, The New Yorker, and The Washington Post, and has been featured in Marie Claire, Installation Magazine, Of the Afternoon, Photo District News, and The Huffington Post. Her work is included in the permanent collections of the Portland Museum of Art and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Siri Kaur lives and works in Los Angeles, where she serves as Associate Professor at Otis College of Art and Design.

This Kind of Face

My series This Kind of Face captures impersonators who spend much of their daily life as costumed celebrity look-alikes. I initially set out to photograph the moment when the subject of a photograph lets down their guard and cracks appear in the everyday performance of the idea of self. Impersonators offer an exaggerated instance of this schism, representing conflict on the surface of their bodies in the uncomfortable conflation of their everyday existence with the aggrandized construction they attempt to embody.

As we look closely at the subjects of these photographs we see people who are not quite living out fantasies of being the rich and famous. Rather, they are look-alikes in the business of being a doppelganger, providing a tangible vessel for the audience’s already media-saturated imagination. Like my subjects, who fashion themselves after specific glamorized Hollywood and media constructions, I found myself over the course of the project impersonating the production of celebrity photographers such as Richard Avedon and Bruce Weber. I imitated Hollywood industry headshots and US Weekly paparazzo pictures and created my own 4×5 photographic versions of Warhol’s Marilyns and dictators. Together the pictures in This Kind of Face function as playful hybridic references to the multiplicity of possibilities existing within the expansive field of photographic portraiture.

To view more of Siri’s work please visit her website.