Intimate as a Freeway

The opening of Catherine Opie’s current exhibition at Regen Projects was packed with an exclusive cross section of LA’s art world yet felt more like a family reunion than a swanky blue-chip gallery affair. harmony is fraught, the photographer’s eleventh show with the gallery, is a retrospective, albeit one with a catch: The sixty or so photos on view have never before been exhibited, offering a perspective on Opie’s work that is both fresh and familiar.

Opie first made waves in the early 1990s with portraits of queer and kink communities whose formal dignity and grace were reminiscent of Renaissance portraits. A few are on display alongside a video documenting the making of Self-Portrait/Cutting (1993), which depicts a line drawing of lesbian domesticity carved into Opie’s back. “I just followed her drawing with the scalpel. She had me practice on a chicken breast. I was super nervous,” said painter Judie Bamber, who was not in the kink scene herself, but was asked by Opie to incise the image due to her proficiency in drawing.

These striking photographs are intersper…

Login or create an account to read three free articles and receive our newsletter.

from $5/month