All Exhibitions

Anna: Photography by Lidia Sharapova

Apr 7–Jul 9, 2023


Anna: Photographs by Lidia Sharapova challenges concepts of femininity and self-presentation. Anna, a black transgender model who initiated what turned into an ongoing series of portraits taken over three years, is an active participant in the construction of her personal and public identity. Images produced within a fluid relationship between the sitter and the photographer, Lidia Sharapova, variously explore conventions and options concerning identity, femininity, and the many facets of public and private personas. Far from an object at the whim of a voyeur, Anna levels an unyielding gaze directly back at the photographer and, by extension, the viewer. She asserts her authority and ownership of her body and her self. Carefully staged, thoughtfully posed, and theatrically lit, the colorful images convey a conviction that identity can be intentionally constructed.

Like Anna, Lidia Sharapova has actively engineered her own place in the world. She grew up in Siberia and moved alone as a teenager to the United States in 2013. Today, based in Milwaukee, she works as a photographer and videographer. Her focus is on documenting issues of social identity, gender, race, and the complexity of small communities to reveal our common humanity. This is Sharapova’s first museum exhibition.

Learn more and follow the artist's process here.

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