To Show Me is a montage of self-portraits by photographer Steven M. Cummings.
The aim is to illuminate the relevance of self-portraiture and how it can be used to breakdown cultural, racial and psychological barriers.
In many ways, self-portraiture is a privileged encounter that provides insight not only into the physical appearance, but also the mental and emotional state of the artist. Historically, artists have recreated their own image to study their craft, hone their skills and construct a visual representation through their own medium. Unlike modern-day selfies that inundate social media platforms, the self- portrait is a more cultivated, revelatory medium where souls are laid to bare. It requires a higher level of planning, technique, posing and consideration.
To Show Me includes 12 self-portraits of local photographer Steven M. Cummings that are drawn from his work, travels, home life, leisure and pensive moments of solitude and introspection. It is a photographic diary — a moment of mid-career self-reflection. Each portrait in the exhibition offers the viewer a window to understand the artist in a way that his actual work could never reveal. Fragments of self-revelation, vulnerability, vintage, political commentary, social consciousness and creative identity can be found in each portrait.
To Show Me challenges the viewer to embrace this form of self-representation as a mirrored reflection of a particular moment. It is not solely about the aesthetic value of the image, but more so about revealing who you are. The energy, movement and light in each image reflects everyday life and attempts to break down barriers of —race, gender, place, social status and sexual identity — that can hold us all back and keep us from seeing ourselves as we truly are. To Show Me is a simple reminder that we all want to be seen and accepted at face value. Of course, the way we see ourselves is not always how others see us, but the point is to be seen, to show up on the world’s stage every day and be honest and open about who we are.
The exhibition is on view through August 2, 2019.