About the Photographer
American, b. 1978
Since 2002, Jen Davis has worked on a series of self-portraits that explore body image, beauty and identity. Davis says “Originally, I wanted to see what the outside world saw when they looked at me,” These earlier images often show Davis in moments restaged for the camera, where she feels self-conscious of her weight or judged such as eating a meal or sitting on the beach in a bathing suit with thin friends. The project transforms over time as Davis portrays her fantasies and then a more relaxed and sensual self as she appears more confident in her body image. Viewers who are not aware that these images are self-portraits might guess that the photographer has a close relationship to her subject because of the intimate settings and situations we find her in. More generally, Davis is interested in considering the sitter’s physical and psychological relationship to the camera.
Jen Davis was born in Akron, Ohio. She completed her BA in Photography from Columbia College Chicago (2002) and her MFA from Yale Universiy (2008). She has been included in numerous exhibitions nationally and internationally, including at the Daegu Photo Biennial, Daegu, Korea (2012); the Center for Contemporary Art, Prishtina, Kosova (2011); the Indianapolis Museum of Contemporary Art, Indianapolis, IN (2009); and the Museum of Fine Art, Boston, MA (2008). Her photographs are in the collections of the Akron Art Museum, Akron, OH; the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL; the Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, OH; the Sir Elton John Photography Collection, Atlanta, GA; Library of Congress, Washington, DC; and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA; among many others.