This elegant silk scarf is a limited series: Nancy Hellebrand + FRIEDA.
Size: 36” x 36”
Use and Care: Hand wash cold water with a mild detergent, hang to dry. Can be dry cleaned. Do not bleach.
Around the time I turned 70, I realized I was no longer perceived as interesting or particularly astute. It was, and is, true that I’m more easily distracted than I used to be, I’ve lost my confidence when physically challenged, and of course I dread the predictable memory failures. But there’s a disconnect between how I seem to others and how I experience my own life, because I also care more about other people than ever before.
All of this is subtly displayed in my body and the way I carry myself. My contradictions and character are visible, but not obvious. Nor do many care to look closely at the body of an old woman given our undeniable cultural bias towards youth, the worship of young women - and our fear of death. The very different beauty of old women is obscured by widespread and deeply held assumptions and fears.
Being a photographer my entire adult life, in 2017 I began photographing old women nude to see how they felt about themselves and how they were responding to their aging. I decided to not include faces because they categorically draw our attention, and in these pictures I wanted to see explicitly what the body and gesture revealed.
One thing that became clear is that there’s magic in acknowledging and giving an old woman the interest and appreciation our culture reserves for the young. We see each person’s whole life story embedded in her flesh and posture. We see who she is! If this isn’t important, poignant, and beautiful, I don’t know what is.
Nancy Hellebrand was selected for A closer look at FRIEDA (October – November 2022).
She also shared her artistic way of thinking during the Meet the artist event on November 2, 2022. Nancy Hellebrand’s photographs have been in multiple shows at the Museum of Modern Art, the International Center for Photography, Pace/Macgill Gallery, and elsewhere in New York. Her photographs have been in multiple exhibitions at the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia. She had a solo exhibition at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. In London, she had a solo exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery and her work has been shown in several group shows at the Tate Gallery. She’s been awarded a Guggenheim and a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship. Hellebrand has taught photography at University of The Arts and Bucks County Community College in PA, Parsons, The New School in New York and Yale University in New Haven and Norfolk, CT.
You can find more of Nancy's work at her website.
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