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Alice O'Malley , Self Portrait, New York, 2002; gelatin silver print on paper, Overall: 24 x 20 inches; Anonymous Gift, 2008

Alice O'Malley , Self Portrait, New York, 2002; gelatin silver print on paper, Overall: 24 x 20 inches; Anonymous Gift, 2008

For more than a decade, Alice O’Malley had a desire to “create a photographic archive of, by, and for those who inhabit the peripheries.” In addition to this self-portrait set ironically with a headless, armless fashion mannequin, she composed formal studio portraits of artists, performers, and friends living in New York’s Lower East Side who identify as defiantly non-traditional. Her portraits convey the unique personalities of individuals who find strength and camaraderie in “a place in which art and the avant-garde function as integral parts of urban life.” For example, fellow photographer Justine Kurland showed off her pregnancy as a virtual superwoman by wearing just a cape and boots. —Nancy Weekly 2020