THE EXTRAVAGANT WORLD OF CHILD BEAUTY PAGEANTS
By Susan Anderson
6 May - 5 June 2010
Opening reception: Thursday, 6 May 2010 6pm
Susan Anderson portrays people who have become so unreal it is hard to concieve that not the photo but the person was edited. Coming from a background of commercial and editorial photography she knows how to tell a story within a single frame. Her pictures of the queens of child beauty pageants are eerie in their honesty. These pictures where not staged, in fact, they are snapshots taken within a 5 minute frame that the contest organisers would give her. These children are so conditioned to strike a perfect pose everytime a lens is aimed at them. While seducing the camera these children seem to have aged well beyond their years.
But still these photographs seem to cause uproar in the subculture from wich they stem. The reason being, baffling enough, that they are not perfect enough. Behind the layers of makeup, false teeth and fake hair the little child is still visible. Normally this last shred of personality would be edited out in the post production of the images, creating a perfect image off a almost completely nonexistant person. These children seem to stand for our fruitless search for a flawless exterior and remind us that perfection should remain a abstract concept, not a forced reality.
© Susan Anderson, Allison, age 10, Nashville, Tennesee 2008
Susan Anderson "High Glitz"
Art / Photography / Portraiture
Hardcover, 8.75 x 9.75 inches
144 pages, 90 four-color photographs