Install views from Duke Gallery 2020.

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Christine Lee Smith’s current photographic series, "Rose Portraits," features 12 thought-provoking portraits of women, bare faced and shouldered, against an ultra feminine rose wallpaper background. The images push the viewers’ conception of gender, embodiment, and identity as they are stripped of social norms of feminine identity while completely surrounded in a typically understood feminine background. The series becomes particularly poignant when considering the childbearing age of the women pictured: caught both in the tensions of social expectation of gendered embodiment and in the capabilities (or lack thereof) of reproduction. Additionally, the series challenges viewers' social training in consumptive gazing, as each subject gazes directly back at the viewer in a gentle confrontation, asking: "Do you see me?" Holding the threads of identity, reproduction, and consumptive gazing this work offers back to the viewer the same complications that face a large portion of Western women each day.

"Amber," Rose Portrait Series, 32"x22" mounted on anti-reflective plexiglass.

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"Chelsea," Rose Portrait Series, 32"x22" mounted on anti-reflective plexiglass. 

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"Janvier," Rose Portrait Series, 32"x22" mounted on anti-reflective plexiglass.

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"Sheryl," Rose Portrait Series, 32"x22" mounted on anti-reflective plexiglass.

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"Kathryn," Rose Portrait Series, 32"x22" mounted on anti-reflective plexiglass.

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"Jamie," Rose Portrait Series, 32"x22" mounted on anti-reflective plexiglass.

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"Timarie," Rose Portrait Series, 32"x22" mounted on anti-reflective plexiglass.

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"Colleen," Rose Portrait Series, 32"x22" mounted on anti-reflective plexiglass.

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"Sarah," Rose Portrait Series, 32"x22" mounted on anti-reflective plexiglass.

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"Karla," Rose Portrait Series, 32"x22" mounted on anti-reflective plexiglass.

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"Becca," Rose Portrait Series, 32"x22" mounted on anti-reflective plexiglass.

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"Chloe," Rose Portrait Series, 32"x22" mounted on anti-reflective plexiglass.

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Detail view of "Amber"

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Detail view of "Chelsea"

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Detail view of "Sheryl"

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