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Catching up with Clarissa Sligh

Self-Portrait as Red-Crown Crane, 2007. Photo credit Clarissa Sligh

Self-Portrait as Red-Crown Crane, 2007. Photo credit Clarissa Sligh

It is always nice to bump into an old friend. Doing so in person is what we like best, but the web is not so bad either, so I was happy to see our friend Clarissa Sligh featured on The National Endowment for the Art’s Art Works blog.

Clarissa first came to Women’s Studio Workshop to print her book, What’s Happening with Moma? in 1988. She was living in New York then and working primarily in photography doing a lot of non silver work. I remember seeing a fabulous installation using blue print/cyanotype at SoHo 20. Her work has always been photo-based with political content. Immediately after her time at WSW she went to Visual Studies workshop where they printed Reading Dick and Jane. She also did a piece at Nexus Press. Both of those great artists’ book residencies are no longer active.

From the Archive: Clarissa Sligh at Women's Studio Workshop, circa 1988

From the Archive: Clarissa Sligh at Women's Studio Workshop, circa 1988

In the early 00’s Clarissa went to Texas for some more formal graduate school study. She was taking a series of photographs of masculine looking women and was approached by a woman who was about to undergo a sex change. Clarissa hesitated at first but in the end followed Jake’s process and transformation. The book that came out of that work, Wrongly Bodied Two, is an important conversation about identity and history. While lots of people were interested in the project it wasn’t until she proposed the project for a WSW book arts residency that it finally was printed. All of Clarissa’s book art work includes rich and thoughtful text and she is an eloquent speaker on the subject of becoming an artist and on her experience as a book artist. We have been honored to be able to work with her to produce these books, and are thrilled the NEA has seen fit to acknowledge Clarissa’s work.

You can read NEA’s Art Works Art Talk with Clarissa Sligh here.

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