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August 05, 2006

Art Image of the Week - Nikki S. Lee

So.. have you ever had a romantic breakup so terrible, so intense, so devastating.. that you just wished you could erase all parts of your memory that you ever even knew the asshole person?  Or how about rewriting your own personal history, and just cutting out "The EX" from every picture.


Well.. that's exactly what the social chameleon  and hot photographer Nikki S. Lee has done in The Parts Project.

She has had several creative projects before where she's done an updated version of an "Asian Cindy Sherman.." dressing herself up in numerous modern situations..

But in Parts, Nikki has explored the complex emotional aspects of relationships, and the isolation, pain and insecurity of fucking breakups. If you've never seen the work, here's a detailed review by e-flux of the 2005 show at the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art in Kansas City, MO.  Yes.. there's actually a good museum in MO!!

But, there's just something about many of these cut in half, edited images my heart crys out to. To see more from this project.. check out the Leslie Tonkonow Gallery Website.

Of course, she's put together an entire collection of these images to create a new book, and hopefully she's found a new boy friend!

So what do you think of this image? And the work of Nikki S.Lee?

Maybe a "cut" above the rest? LUV ha.. or Hate ha?


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Great choice.

The Nikki Lee Parts project is one of my all time favorites.

Now if only her prices were low enough for me to afford one!

her Parts series is incredible, and her strongest work yet.

Agnostic - I have only seen reproductions of the photos on various web sites and I think I am missing something. I am very open to the possibility that if I saw them in person I would be wowed. I should note that a lot of "artist centric" photography a la Sherman (when the artist injects herself into the art) often leaves me cold, so maybe I am not the best judge here.

i like nikki lee, for all the usual reasons, but this is the first sieres that has struck me as emotionally deep.

Very cool. Showing the unshown. A fetishism of void.

Conceptually I think the idea behind this work is really strong. Much stronger than her other work.

But formally, I sometimes question the choice and placement of the crop. I also wonder what it would be like if in at least a few of the pictures she looked happy with her ex, and it actually looked like they had a connection.

Only a couple felt genuine to me, Most looked like two models on a random photo shoot. She already looked completely disconnected from her supposed ex. So the cutting away is no surprise and doesn't seem like such emotional stress as I think she wants it too.

I feel for her. Hello, sad kitty.

Here is an Nikki S. Lee edition from the new series:

Pick one up, its an edition of 25 and the image is nice.

Have it surface mounted with plexi and metal.

I'm not sure -- maybe the images need to be seen in person.

The Sophie Calle exhibit at Paula Cooper last summer covered much of the same emotional territory, and it broke my heart. But if I'd only seen it in tiny photos, I might have dismissed it as a gimmick.

Um, I think that you're missing the point. In the context of her previous "Projects" series, and after reading interviews with Lee about the "Parts" series, I think that these photos reflect how people's personality and even appearance changes depending on who they are with. By cropping the man out of the picture, the focus is on Lee herself. By looking at the other photos in the series, one can observe the changes she undergoes around each new person.

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