T. Berkeley… Questions, Comments, Concerns


I am posting some links to work by a photographer, Tanyth Berkeley, in the hopes that some of you might already be familiar with her work.  I’m doing lightweight research on her for an upcoming show at SITE Santa Fe, and I would love to incorporate your opinions and reactions into my presentation. Originally from L.A., Tanyth shows at Bellwether Gallery in NYC, and is online through the Saatchi Gallery as well. She works in portrait photography, and it is difficult for me to get a feel for her work without experiencing their actual scale.  She describes her work process as botanical, and tries to seek out subjects whose physical appearances fall far outside of current social norms.  The sexuality of her subjects seem to often dominate the work.  I would be interested to hear any and all reactions to her work, especially by those who may have encountered her photos in a gallery, etc.



Do you find her work cliché or compelling? I have to run now to make a Lucy Lippard lecture, but I will check back later, and maybe we can discuss.


7 Responses to T. Berkeley… Questions, Comments, Concerns

  1. SarahF says:

    oh, those exotic people. they look so strange.. are they trans?

    No, really, they are not looking at me, so why should I look at them?
    I’ve heard people say that these portraits are humanizing. I experience
    no human connection when I look at these portraits. There is an overdetermined
    other-worldliness to them. The eyes are pointed at me, but they do nothing.
    The gaze is vacuous.

    The work is not cliche. The work is dead.

  2. zoeblackwell says:

    I guess my biggest problem with her work is that it all seems to fall short of the goals she herself sets up in statements and interviews. If she flirted more with the idea of transparency… but she seems so intent on pushing her own views of ‘other’ and ‘sexual ambiguity’ onto her subjects.

    the portraits fall quite flat.

  3. Victoria F. Gaitán says:

    I always like someone who does their own thing, regardless of whatever the current aesthetic temperature is at the time.

    Her stuff reminds me a little of the work that dominated London in the late 90’s and early 2000’s, which at the time, I found flat, soulless, and pretty dire.

    That said, I do like what she’s trying to do. I like that she’s missing something, that she’s chasing her idea. I like her subject matter, and her intention. I like that something feels a little off kilter.

    I’d really like to see her work in the meat-world, to get a sense of scale, and how the images work singularly and as a body. Also, to see what the actual prints look like, as viewing images online can be a bit hit and miss as far as image quality and faithfulness to the original are concerned.

  4. Laser! (Rachel) says:

    the photo you posted sorta reminds me of last season’s katy grannan works at Salon 94

  5. i would not pass by these photos without taking a closer look and wondering. so they are at least in some way sucessful. the fact that i’m searching for words to describe the emotion they evoke is also evidence to their success. i do agree some of the pics seem dead in a sense…

  6. me says:

    I swear the people in her portraits are dead…I swear, no one will believe it.. but they look very dead to me. Like they are not living, and someone posed a corpse and took the picture. Honestly its disturbing….and Im surprised people don’t notice it

  7. me says:

    that its some of the pics look dead but not all..still

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