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American, b. 1986 She has such an expressionless face, 2014Archival Inkjet Print14 x 17.5" Image on 16 x 20" Paper Edition of 30
Natalie Krick’s photographs explore sexuality, aging, womanhood, and societal standards of beauty. In the series Natural Deceptions (2011–16), Krick uses her mother, grandparents, sister, and herself as models, mirroring poses and facial expressions that are seen in fashion magazines and advertisements. Yet her images appear far from commercial. At times her models’ bodies overlap with one another, and they sometimes contort in unexpected ways, making it difficult to determine where one body ends and another begins. The most common subject in the series, Krick’s mother, often appears in sensual poses, with her imperfections in plain sight—freckles, wrinkles, and varicose veins reminding us of the body’s ever-ticking clock and the inevitability of aging.
This image, humorously titled She has such an expressionless face (2014) pushes the model to the background entirely. The presence of a figure can be discerned only through glimpses of artificial hair and the edges of clothing peeking out behind an oversize houseplant. In the corner, a page from a fashion magazine is similarly obscured—it has been creased to conceal the identity of the model, rendering her anonymous. Krick’s figures seem to be hiding from the viewer while simultaneously protecting themselves from unrealistic expectations of beauty. The imagery questions how the experience of being a woman can be falsely understood through the filter of the media and raises questions about not only what we consider natural versus artificial, but also the seductive versus the grotesque.
Krick completed her BFA in photography from the School of Visual Arts, New York (2008) and her MFA in photography from Columbia College Chicago (2012). Her work has been included in exhibitions at the Photographic Center Northwest, Seattle (2019, 2017), the Colorado Photographic Arts Center, Denver (2015), and Detroit Center for Contemporary Photography (2013), among many others. She was awarded the Aperture Portfolio Prize in 2017.