Amy Stevens, "Confections (adorned) #10", from the series "Confections", 2010, archival inkjet print, 22 x 23"

Amy Stevens, “Confections (adorned) #10”, from the series “Confections”, 2010, archival inkjet print, 22 x 23″

Amy Stevens

The “Confections” series is a celebration of birthdays, color, pattern, and obsessive absurdity began in response to my turning 30. I ordered a kit from and watched an instructional video on cake-decorating. When I quickly discovered my cakes were never going to look like the ones in the video and the pamphlet, I decided they were better off in their exuberantly imperfect states. With over 70 cake constructions to date, I’m often asked, “Why still with the cakes?” Cakes are the centerpieces of celebrations and symbolic trophies evoking nostalgia and awe. Historically, cake has played a significant role in women’s lives. Women have used baking as both an outlet of creativity and a symbol of female power politics. The woman who made the best cake held a certain power over the other women in the community, according to Sherrie Inness in “Cooking Lessons: The Politics of Gender and Food”. In my constructions of these photographs, for which I also design the background props, I am commenting on not only cake itself as a rich cultural symbol, but of the domestic fantasy world of contemporary home decorating, cooking magazines, and television shows.

Amy Stevens grew up in the American Southwest and earned a BFA in Photography and a certificate in Women’s Studies from Arizona State University and a MFA in Photography from Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia. She has shown at the Delaware Art Museum(Wilmington, DE), Photo LA (Los Angeles, CA), Photographic Center Northwest (Seattle, WA), Maryland Art Place (Baltimore, MD), and the Museum of Art and International Airport, both in Philadelphia, PA. In 2009, Amy was announced a U.S. winner in Magenta Foundation’s Flash Forward Emerging Photographer’s competition, which included a published book and a traveling exhibition at Lennox Contemporary (Toronto, Canada), FotoWeek D.C., and the Griffin Museum of Photography (Winchester, MA).