Take a Plunge

Our August Cover Photographer: Kenda North

Catherine D. Anspon
Posted:
July 29, 2011

August continues the tradition of PaperCity tapping important contemporary artists to share, collaborate and/or create artwork for our cover. This month, internationally exhibited, museum-collected Texas photographer Kenda North lends an image from her “Urban Pools” series. Perfect, we say: North’s nymph-like underwater models conjure a dream state, part mermaids/part alluring high-fashion cover girls. This work plunges us into our subconscious while inviting comparisons with Dalí’s underwater tableau for the New York World’s Fair of 1939, as well as painter David Hockney’s obsession with poolside culture. We also sense a subliminal nod to Slim Aarons’ palmy poolscapes. What does North herself say? The Dallas-based professor — who heads the photography department at UT Arlington — discloses that her images are also inspired by the hue of the deep: “Blue is a recurring color in my work. The nuances of being blue, thinking blue, speaking about blue are more subtle themes. Blue is the color associated with solitary, with mood, with sex. Blue movies, the Texas blue laws. The various inhabitants of “Urban Pools” respond to the blue; it is the place where they exist and must, indeed, rise above.” Limited-edition photographs, $800 to $2,800; through Craighead Green Gallery, Dallas (craigheadgreengallery.com), and kendanorth.com.

Image: Kenda North’s Greek Art (detail), from the “Urban Pools” series, 2005

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