Karen Davis, "Pap Smear", 2012, from the series Procedures, archival pigment print, Ed of 8, 3x4 inches. Courtesy of the artist.

Karen Davis, “Pap Smear”, 2012, from the series Procedures, archival pigment print, Ed of 8, 3×4 inches. Courtesy of the artist.

Karen Davis

Life comes with markers, big and small: birthdays, anniversaries, first times and lasts times.  We count schools, jobs, children, spouses, accomplishments, wins and losses. There are shared celebrations and shared tragedies.

Over the years I have been constructing a visual memoir using many of these markers in photographs, photo essays, artist’s books and self-published books. In this current series of self-portraits, Little Procedures, I use a new marker.

Life is full of little procedures.  Some start early in life, others creep up on us as the years build.  There’s the haircut, hair dye, facial, massage, manicure, pedicure, waxing, threading, shaving, drilling and cleaning.  There are medical tests, mammograms, pap smears, colonoscopies, bone density tests, X-rays, blood tests and urine tests. There are tubes, ointments, cups, pipettes, clamps, lights, diagrams, X-rays, johnnies, pasties, towelettes, lights, scales, tape and gauze.

Using a camera with a twistable view screen, I compose my self-portraits and take them in the midst of these procedures.  I present the photographs in a small format, three inches by four inches, to maintain the intimacy of the moment.

Karen Davis‘s (Hudson, NY) is a photographer, teacher and gallerist. A 2011 alum of the New York Foundation for the Arts’ (NYFA) MARK program, recent solo and featured exhibits include Unframed, NOBO Gallery, Hudson NY; PHOTO[gogues], Flash Forward, Boston MA; and The McCann Family, the Griffin Museum of Photography. Her photographs were included in “hrlm: pictures” at the Studio Museum in Harlem.

Karen teaches Portfolio Development and Marketing for Fine Art Photographers at the Griffin Museum of Photography, NYU and at the Davis Orton Gallery, Hudson NY which she founded with her husband Mark Orton. She has also taught at Lesley University’s Lesley Seminars and the Art Institute of Boston; Radcliffe Seminars, Harvard University; X-College/Tufts University and Suffolk University.

Karen received CPW’s Fellowship in 2009 and was selected by Hannah Frieser, former director of Light Work. To view her fellowship portfolio, click here.