Monday, January 11, 2016

Kris Sanford

Kris Sanford grew up in southeast Michigan and received a BFA in photography from the College for Creative Studies in Detroit. She received her MFA in photography from Arizona State University, where she served as art editor for Hayden's Ferry Review. Her art explores intimate relationships, specifically queer desire, through the use of appropriated images and text.

Kris has exhibited her work nationally, including group exhibitions in Boston, Chicago, Denver, Detroit, Houston, Miami, and New York. In 2010 she was awarded a Contemporary Forum Artist Grant from the Phoenix Art Museum and exhibited her work at the museum in May 2011. Between the Lines (no. 11) was selected by the Phoenix Public Art Program for the 2011 installment of the 7th Avenue Streetscape Panels. Her work is represented by Catherine Couturier Gallery in Houston, Texas and Tilt Gallery in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Kris has taught photography classes at several institutions, including Washtenaw Community College, Arizona State University, and Glendale Community College. She is currently an assistant professor at Central Michigan University.

Artist Statement: Between the Lines

A 1954 diary that belonged to a grandfather I never met serves as the inspiration for and background in many of the photographs from Between the Lines. The figures that emerge from the pages, actual vintage photographs cut and photographed in camera, represent the memories contained in the text. Shallow focus reveals small details, while obscuring the larger story.

Relationships, real or imagined, are at the center of my work. I live vicariously through unknown strangers, creating stories from abandoned diaries, letters, and photographs. I use appropriated photographs for their seemingly innocent and unselfconscious nature, reinterpreting vintage snapshots to speak about the tension and complexity in my own relationships. My work raises questions about memory, truth, and representation in photography, often drawing attention to changing attitudes toward gay and lesbian relationships. My images are works of fiction, where I project my own dreams onto moments from the past.

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