Christa Blackwood | Austin TX, United States

Short bio:
Christa Blackwood is a photo, text based and installation artist working with themes related to identity, history, and popular culture. Her visual voice was developed while a student at New York University, when she began producing street installation art such as Butcherknives (1991), a work that addressed issues of sexual violence. A chilling juxtaposition of billboard-like close-ups and text from poet Michelle Kotler, Butcherknives, was plastered all over the streets of lower Manhattan on the evening that the William Kennedy Smith verdict was announced. The poster’s timely and provocative appearance resulted in heightened critical attention for Blackwood, including an invitation to join the Women’s Action Coalition (WAC) from renowned artists and scholars, Kiki Smith and Lucy Lippard. Her dream-like sequences and texts employ multiple techniques and methods, fusing traditional, historical and alternative processes with contemporary practices such as iPhone image-making and street installations. Blackwood received her MA in Studio Art from New York University and BA in Classics from The University of Oklahoma. Her work has been featured in several publications including The New York Times, ArtDesk Magazine, New York Newsday, The Village Voice and The Chicago Sun Times. She has exhibited in galleries and museums throughout the U.S. and abroad Her recent exhibitions, Prix West and Silver and Ink, were ranked among the top 5 Best Solo Gallery Exhibitions for 2013-2014 and 2015-2016 by the Austin Critics Table Awards.

Why do you photograph on film?
I love film! I love the physicality of film-holding film, loading film and processing film. I love over processing, pushing/pulling, the hands on mark making and manipulations and non-homogenized look that gives film its depth and breath. I have shot film for over 20 years and particularly love the old Polaroid films-the instant processing slide films-polapan and polagraph and also the positive/negative films-Type 85, 665 and 55. Still have two bins in my fridge filled with Polaroid films.

What is your work about?
My work is always idea driven, for the last four years I have taken my medium and large-format film cameras & models and has hit the road. Traveling around Texas, and across New Mexico, Colorado and Utah, staging the nude male body within the majesty of North America’s gorgeous western landscape, and positioning it in a genealogy of classical photographic studies of the human figure.