Girls and Dolls examines the authenticity of female beauty projected by media and advertisers, who create illusions of the body by way of technology. The work presents an explorative portraiture of women transforming into dolls and evaluates projected images, using the Barbie to create a mysterious visual of metaphors.
American concepts of the “perfect female body” are clearly exemplified through commercialism, portraying “image as everything” and introducing trends that many spend hundreds of dollars to imitate. It is more common than ever that women are enlarging breast with silicone, making short hair longer with synthetic hair weaves, covering natural nails with acrylic fill-ins, or perhaps replacing natural eyes with contacts. Even on magazine covers, graphic artists are airbrushing and manipulating photographs in software programs, making the image of a small waist and clear skin flawless. As a result, the female body becomes a replica of a doll, and the essence of natural beauty in popular American culture is replaced by fantasy.
My work combines a wide range of knowledge of contemporary culture to challenge perceptions of identity in America. During the last five years, I have created three bodies of work: Plastic Bodies, Suburbia, and Young Americans.
Sheila Pree Bright is a Fine Art Photographer who is known for her photographic series Young Americans, Plastic Bodies and Suburbia. Her large-scale works combines a wide ranging knowledge of contemporary culture, addressing commentary on American beauty standards, Patriotism and portrayals of urban and suburban themes. Recently, Bright took the Young Americans portraits to the streets of Art Basel Miami this passed December, wheat pasting eleven images in the Coconut Grove neighborhood on building and abandon homes that are often unnoticed in the urban landscape. Bright revisits the series which exhibited as a solo show at the High Museum of Atlanta in 2008, curated by Julian Cox, Founding Curator of Photography and Chief Curator of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. The work examines attitudes and values of Generation Y as American citizens. The series shows diverse young Americans, who are new to the voting system, and exploring ideas of what it means to be American. The sitters expressed their perspectives in a statement and posed in their chosen stance with the American flag.
With much success of launching her wall portraits in Miami, she is traveling the series to other cities in 2013. Bright states, “I want to engage with communities nationally after observing the major divide during the most recent Presidential election. I am passionate about re-framing these images by giving communities an open forum and empowerment." Bright's goal is to encourage public engagement and to create dialogue about being an American in the 21st century.
Bright has been featured in numerous publications, the recipient of numerous awards and in private and public collections to name a few; Library of Congress, Washington DC, High Museum of Art, Atlanta, GA, de Saisset Museum, Santa Clara, CA, Oppenhiemer Collection: Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art, Overland, KS, and Sprint PCS Art Collection, Overland, KS.
Click on any of the thumbnail images to launch the viewer. You can then navigate forward and backward within the portfolio by clicking the left or right side of the enlarged image. Click the add to collection checkbox to automatically add an image to your collection. Image tags or search engine keywords appear below the collections' checkbox and each word or phrase is a link to potentially more image matches.