About the Photographer
Weems, Carrie Mae
American, b. 1953
A simple kitchen table and an overhead lamp serve as the setting for the mother-daughter drama played out in Carrie Mae Weems's untitled triptych. These pictures form a chapter of her larger Kitchen Table Series, a cinematic grouping of twenty photographs that stars the artist in an invented love story that revolves around a woman's identity in relation to her male partner and child. Weems, known for her sometimes biting use of humor, employs narrative structures, a choreographed cast of props and characters, and a variety of media to explore and explode stereotypes of race and gender. Her resulting photographs, videos, and installations usually reconfigure old photographs, sculptures, and artifacts that comprise the physical record of African American culture in order to make new works that comment on racism and difficult topics seldom addressed in mainstream media.
Carrie Mae Weems was born in Portland, Oregon in 1953. She received her BA from the California Institute of the Arts, Valencia (1981), her MFA from the University of California, San Diego (1984), and studied in the Graduate Program in Folklore at the University of California at Berkeley (1984-87). Since then Weems has been active as a teacher and an artist, and is the recipient of numerous fellowships and residencies. Weems's photographs have been exhibited in one-person exhibitions at the Dakar Biennia, Dakar, Senegal; Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia; National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington, DC; Museum of Modern Art, New York; Sarah Moody Gallery of Art, University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa; and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.