Patricia Lois Nuss makes artwork that investigates the comparative territories of human emotion as it relates to the many facets of culture. The absence of a female role model in her life has led Nuss to focus strongly on the feminine in her work.
This research dissects the female idols presence and power through iconography in a variety of cultures and eras and than compares that with the actual experiences of young women seeking to meet that solicited ideal.
Nuss seeks to procure an intimacy with the women she photographs through an array of methods; in the Mourning series (image 1 & 2) she captured the subjects at sunrise in the nightwear they slept in the hours of darkness before, in the Madonna series (image 3 & 4) she spent time in a small room photographing the women as they thought about personal moments from their lives, and in Dipole (image 5) the subjects are reclined in a performance, mimicking an idealized slumber or death, a metaphor for accepting their failure of meeting the romanticized feminine standard represented in the media.
The women photographed are aspiring models that Nuss has never met until the day they shoot, creating an uneasiness and stiffness in many of the photographs: a conviction that mirrors the artists' relationship with her absent mother.
Venus Clenched, Mourning Series
Untitled 8, Mourning Series
Untitled 16, Mourning Series
Reclined With Rope, Dipole Series