I’d like you to all to tilt forward in your chairs a bit and get ready to see some mighty fine work by my friend, Katrina Umber. We first met in Richmond, VA, while I was in my last year of grad school in 2006. She was in town from Los Angeles visiting my pal, her now husband, Jesse.
She showed me some of her photographs which at the time were candid, to say the least, portraits of her and her family. Now, to be honest, photography hadn’t been much on my radar by that point. However, flipping through her images from the series U, I was immediately struck by the vulnerability both behind the lens and in the photos themselves. In a series of just a few images you witness people growing up, dealing with disappointment, and expressing loyalty and love. Her subjects look into your eyes, inviting you into their unfolding lives. One couldn’t help being drawn in by the gravity of her world. Last year, I saw some of her recent work from Personal Affect Squares while in New York, involving prisons and double exposure cameras. That same tenderness remained but had become somehow more stark, more universal. I didn’t get a chance to talk much with Katrina about them back then, so I can’t wait to see/hear more from her here on Big Red & Shiny.
Katrina’s CV isn’t to be trifled with. She’s got an MFA from University of California, Los Angeles and was a resident at Skowhegan. Her work has been popping up, I’m sure to the delight of many, in venues all over the damn place.
Katrina has never ceased to surprise with her work, and keeps us coming back for more. I’m so excited to bring her in to the BR&S Inside Out residency. She’s one of the most generous people and fantastic artists I know. So ladies and gentlemen, I give you Ms. Katrina Umber.