Tierney Gearon has lived her life in the most open and honest way, through her photographs. Because of her very adamant stance on unfiltered, unprocessed and undiluted work, she has endured everything from rampant and vocal disgrace to almost being arrested. In 2001, while about to open her show at the Saatchi Gallery she walked into the gallery and was greeted by the police. Large blow-up photos of her two children were exhibited in the show I Am a Camera, including two naked poses and one of her son urinating in the snow. Three complaints by members of the public warranted this unexpected police visit causing a huge ruckus. Gearon was completely taken off guard, unable to understand why the big deal. “I have been completely taken aback by the reaction over the weekend. I appreciate that this is a difficult subject, about which people have complex and mixed feelings, but the level of reaction has surprised me.”
In art, there is a big, wide open space where debating the rights and wrongs of such work is necessary and integral. Photographers like Sally Mann and Gearon have opened the door to the conversation: where is the fine line, what is vulgar, what is art, where do they meet, do they ever meet, do people take advantage of the commercial gain if they do meet ? Etc, etc, it goes on and on.
Here we have Gearon’s latest series, a feature for NY Times Magazine, she using children, pets, Plexiglas box and a pristine snow setting. Captivity within shapes seems to be the theme here: one which she has been exploring for the last 2 years, taking these structures to different places in the world and shooting the experience of her family, friends and pets.
Gearon has quite a few series under her belt, we have featured her Double Exposure series HERE, where she used old fashioned process of double exposing the image inside the camera. No Photoshop, retouching or post work on these images. “I love this process because it leaves room for surprises. Unlike digital where you see what you get right away. Not only do I not see what I get right away but the surprise of combining 2 different locations is either a complete mess or amazing. I have to think completely out of the box and just take huge risk which usually ends up turning out the best. The first time I shoot the roll of film I do a whole roll of the same location so I know what location is on each roll but not what is on each frame! The second time I shoot the roll of film I shoot a lot of different options.”
She is also the author of 2 books, one which explored the very intense and complicated relationship she has with her mother, “The Mother Project”, and the other, “Daddy Where Are You” she delves into the rabbit hole of her father and his lack of presence in her life. Always using her art to explore and to process her pain, her insecurities and her interior world, and never censoring that very difficult experience.