HER: Meditations on Being Female by Marjorie Salvaterra


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In chaotically stunning portraits, HER captures the essence of the inner struggles of every woman. The stunning black-and-white images truly allows rage, encourages body acceptance, explores creativity, and essentially breaks the façade of female perfection and provides insights into the pressures that women face every day. Many of the portraits are quite humorous, whimsical, and highlight the universal experience of being a woman.

HER strips away the pretense of flawlessness picture by picture, displaying dark whimsy using simple yet evocative props such as wigs, umbrellas, and straitjackets, revealing the raw intimacy of women struggling against their senses of self and societal expectations. One visually arresting photo features a woman face down at the dinner table with her husband; another photo is a feminist interpretation of The Last Supper; while another photo features a woman holding an umbrella, shielding herself from falling prescription pills.

 Photographer Marjorie Salvaterra examines the psychology of age and gender through the lens of unexpected interpretation and exaggerated gestures, wildly evocative of the great Italian film directors like Federico Fellini and painters such as Alex Katz.  At the same time, she offers up the individuality of womanhood, representing the woman who struggles with making sense of this crazy world. Salvaterra is a mother of two and was a stay-at-home mom before making her foray into the photography world, providing her with a unique perspective that resulted in these magnificent photographs.

Captured in 75 striking, perversely humorous, black-and-white images using subjects of all varieties, here is an incisive social commentary that examines women who have broken free of the façade of perfection.

Marjorie Salvaterra is Los Angeles-based photographer whose work is full of drama, wit, and provocation. Her roles as a wife and mother inspired her ongoing interest in female community and the roles of women around the world.  Marjorie  got her start in photography while on a film set in Morocco, and her startlingly unique work soon caught the attention of museums and galleries around the world, including the Griffin Museum in Massachusetts; Musée de l’Elysée, in Lausanne, Switzerland; the Rencontres d’Arles in Arles, France; Duncan Miller Projects Gallery and MOPLA Opening Night Solo Exhibit in Los Angeles. Her work was included in the George Eastman House Museum auction at Sotheby’s, in New York, and she was a runner-up for the 2009 and 2010 Berenice Abbot Prize for Emerging Photographers.

Originally from St. Louis, Missouri, Salvaterra attended New York University before moving to Los Angeles, where she currently lives with her husband and two children.

ISBN 978-1-943876-10-5
144 pages,8 15/16 x 11 7/8", hardcover 
75 and black-and-white photographs


Marjorie Salvaterra