When the Personal Turns Political

When the Personal Turns Political: LaToya Ruby Frazier at the Whitney Biennial

"Grandma Ruby and U.P.M.C.," 2011. From the series "Campaign for Braddock Hospital (Save Our Community Hospital)."

Time Magazine
Paul Moakley
February 29, 2012


From the outset of her career as a young artist, LaToya Ruby Frazier has always found inspiration at home. In thoughtfully constructed black and white photographs she began, in her teens, to document herself and her family life in Braddock, Pa.

“What’s the most intimate thing you can portray? For me, it’s myself,” she says.

The work Frazier has featured in the 2012 Whitney Biennial in New York City, which starts Thursday, builds on the classic documentary work she studied while in college at Syracuse University. Over time, the photographer, now 30, began to incorporate staged narratives and self-portraiture meant to challenge viewers with questions about the artist’s objectivity and representation, and that of her loved ones.

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