In a recent interview in Time magazine, “For Women Only: Re-imagining Russell Lee’s Pie Town,” Debbie Grossman (MFA 2010 Photography, Video and Related Media) talks about her series of photographs My Pie Town, which are based on Russell Lee’s photographs of rural homesteaders in New Mexico, taken for the Farm Security Administration in 1940. Asking herself, “What if the whole town was filled with women?”, Grossman worked on her own fantasy version of the town for the year following her discovery of Lee’s images. Grossman explains that she likes that, “viewers can see a very contemporary kind of family—two married women with kids, for example—as if it has a precedent in the past, and as if it were part of the American historical archive.” She also discusses her ideas of blurring reality and fantasy and why and how she manipulates photos.
Grossman’s work is currently on display in “My Pie Town” at Julie Saul Gallery, 535 West 22nd Street, through Saturday, May 21.
Image: Debbie Grossman, Jessie Evans-Whinery, homesteader, with her wife Edith Evans-Whinery and their baby, 2009-10. Courtesy of the artist.