Erica Allen, "Gentleman #14", from the series "Untitled Gentlemen", 2008, digital c-print, 16x20"

Erica Allen, “Gentleman #14”, from the series “Untitled Gentlemen”, 2008, digital c-print, 16×20″

Erica Allen

“Untitled Gentlemen” is a series of fictional portraits created using anonymous faces from contemporary barbershop hairstyle posters combined with figures from discarded studio photographs. This work explores representations and constructions of identity in portraiture and bestows value to images and individuals otherwise overlooked. Existing between the real and artifical, these images subvert the meaning and expectations of the traditional studio portrait, creating an unknown narrative and expressive ambiguity in an unexpected context.

Erica Allen was born in 1980 and raised in Oakland, California. She recieved her BA in Studio Art from the University of California, Santa Cruz in 2003, and completed her MFA in Photography from the School of Visual Arts in 2008. She has exhibited at the Center for Fine Art Photography (Fort Collins, CO), and at Visual Arts Gallery, The Camera Club of New York, and with the Humble Arts Foundation, all in NYC. Her photographs have been published nationally, and internationally, in Visual Arts Journal, Photograph, Outlook, and Esopus magazine. Awards for her work include the Aaron Siskind Scholarship, the William Hyde and Susan Beneen Irwin Scholarship, and the runner-up Women in Photography Lightside Individual Project grant.