Catherine Opie was born in Sandusky, Ohio in 1961. Her work is multifaceted in that she uses photography to navigate anything from political movements to urban transformation and queer subcultures. Her family’s history of strong patriotism has certainly influenced her ability to portray American social phenomena. Opie’s body of work challenges viewers to question their own perception of “the way things should look” and presents an overarching theme of relationships to community. From the Americana imagery of the Obama election, to intimate and uncomfortable self portraits featuring self-mutilation, and candid snapshots of American living, Catherine Opie's perspective sheds light on the complexities and nuances of a contemporary American life.
In regard to her process, Opie says, "Staring at people's faces is a problem with me. I mean, my wife is constantly saying, 'You're staring at that person.' And I'm just like, 'I'm really sorry. I'm making a picture.' And I do like to stare."