A Phillips Woman on Women Artists: Emily Bray

In honor of Women’s History Month and The National Museum of Women in the Arts #5WomenArtists challenge, we’re highlighting some of the spectacular women on our staff and the female artists who inspire them.

Emily Bray, Education Specialist for Public Programs

Emily Bray photo

Emily Bray, Education Specialist for Public Programs

Do you have a favorite woman artist from The Phillips Collection, or a favorite female artist whose work has been on display at the museum?
EB: Nikki S. Lee. She’s a Korean artist who uses photography to blur the lines between culture and identity. She transforms herself to “fit” into the subcultures in our society and documents her interactions. I first discovered Nikki while trying to work through some of my own photography about identity. The Phillips has a few images from her series The Lesbian Project, The Hispanic Project, and The Swingers Project.

Nikki S Lee

Nikki S. Lee, The Lesbian Project (11), 1997. Fujiflex print, 30 x 40 in. Gift of the Heather and Tony Podesta Collection, Washington, DC, 2010

Who is your all-time favorite female artist? Do you remember the first time you saw her work? How does she inspire you?
EB: I wish I had an all-time favorite female artists, however, I love so many! I admire Elina Brotherus’s work as she often turns the camera towards herself, a mix of model and self-portrait, of quiet, sentimental images of her life. I also love Elinor Carucci‘s photography because she uses a 35mm camera to document her daily routine, through good and rough parts, beautifully capturing each moment. Brotherus and Carucci use their personal life to convey that everything, every moment, really matters. I think it’s often a good reminder to me and to all women that we’re important, and each of our stories is valuable.

Name five women artists.
#5WomenArtists that influenced my photography work are:
Julie Cameron
Diana Arbus
Sophia Calle
Francesca Woodman
Barbara Bosworth

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