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Alix Smith: States of Union

Artist’s Statement:

States of Union and is comprised of a series of color portrait photographs of same-sex families from across the United States. ‘Family’ in States of Union, is defined as two individuals who are in a committed relationship and live as a social unit. Family as it exists today is not as cut and dry as it was fifty years ago; rather, it has evolved with same sex couples as part of the new demographic.

The photographs that make up States of Union use the visual conventions of the history of portraiture. Through gesture, lighting, size and formality, the images pay homage to the original purpose of portraiture: the glorification of the individual and the family. The tropes historically used to promote heterosexual family units are re-appropriated and reinvented to serve a more expanded view of family. In so doing, the viewer recognizes something familiar about the images, feeling a kinship with families that might otherwise look and feel unrecognizable.

Artist’s Bio:

New York, NY

Alix Smith was born in New York City. She graduated from The School of Visual Arts with a Masters in Photography and Related Media in 2005. Smith has been in solo exhibitions throughout the United States and Europe. She has been reviewed in numerous publications some of which include The New York Times, Art Review, Artnet, Daily Mail, Slate, TimeOut New York and The Advocate. Art Review Magazine listed her as one of the best emerging photographers internationally. Smith has received fiscal sponsorship from The New York Foundation for the Arts, for her project States of Union. She was awarded a 2009 Stonewall Honor for States of Union by the Stonewall Foundation.