LaToya Ruby Frazier, Mom Making an Image of Me, from the series The Notion of Family, 2008. Gelatin silver print, 16 × 20 inches (40.6 × 50.8 cm). Anonymous promised gift. Courtesy the artist and Michel Rein, Paris/Brussels. © LaToya Ruby Frazier
In her photographic, video, and performance work, LaToya Ruby Frazier addresses issues that range from the personal to the political. Over the course of the last decade, Frazier’s practice has focused on the social, economic, and environmental deterioration of her hometown of Braddock, Pennsylvania, experienced through the tangible and psychological effects on her immediate family.
Mom Making an Image of Me is part of a 2008 series of double portraits of the artist and her mother posing in the family house in Braddock. Throughout the series, the artist provides minimal visual context—a metal heater or patterned curtains—to give a sense of the domestic space. Both Frazier and her mother are visible only in the mirror propped on the radiator. Between the two women stands the camera, a key third element in this triangulation. Just as Frazier and her mother are framed by the mirror, the image is framed by the room. Through her precise compositions and focus on the individual as well as family, Frazier visualizes complex relationships.
Joining other photographs by Frazier in the ICA/Boston collection, this work augments the museum’s strong and ever-expanding collection of photography, which includes works by Philip-Lorca diCorcia, Rineke Dijkstra, Roe Ethridge, Ragnar Kjartansson, and Thomas Ruff that also explore identity through photography and portraiture.