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LaToya Ruby Frazier: A Haunted Capital features approximately 40 photographic works that intimately connect the artist's family and hometown, Braddock, Pennsylvania through portraiture and social documentary. The project addresses how the effects of industrialization and de-industrialization creates sociological, economic and environmental shifts; impacting the lives of individuals as well as their communities.
A Haunted Capital represents both Frazier's family's history and the history of her community as she explores the decline of Braddock, home of one of America's first steel mills, located on the eastern edge of the Monongahela River near Pittsburgh, which now has a population of under 2,500 and has been declared a "distressed municipality" by the state of Pennsylvania.
Over the past decade, Frazier has worked on a series "Notion of Family," both as the artist and subject often collaborating with her mother who is a central figure in the series. The merged silhouette of mother and daughter against a textile backdrop in images such as Momme Portrait Series (Shadow) and Momme Portrait Series represents their dynamic interrelationship. In this series, the bodies of the Frazier women reflect the experience of Braddock's industrial history revealing complex human relationships, and serving as a metaphor for the decay of Braddock's landscape. Frazier's portrayal of this American landscape is in stark contrast to the corporate image that the artist feels not only erases the troubled reality of Braddock but also excludes the community to which Frazier's family belongs.
LaToya Ruby Frazier, (b. 1982) whose work is featured in the 2012 Whitney Biennial, received a BFA from Edinboro University, an MFA from Syracuse University, and attended the Skowhegan school of Painting and Sculpture. The New Museum, MoMA PSA, the Indianapolis Museum of Contemporary Art, the 2011 Venice Biennale, and the Andy Warhol Museum are among the venues where her work has been shown. She is the Associate Curator for the Mason Gross galleries and teaches photography at the Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey.
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