Honorable Mention Artist: Sheri Lynn Behr

New York cafe window-Dean & DeLuca 40th Street

New York cafe window-Dean & DeLuca 40th Street

These photographs from my series NoSafeDistance address my interest in photography without permission.

Today we live in a post-privacy world, an image-obsessed society where cameras are everywhere. With or without our knowledge, we are being photographed several times a day. When I shoot these images, I am separated from my subjects by glass store windows. Having a camera with a big lens pointed by an unknown person outside the store creates a moment of sudden awareness of something unexpected. Reactions are varied.

By cropping and enlarging the faces, which are often distorted by the window’s reflections, and by removing the context, there is a certain ambiguity created. The images can reference mug shots, identity cards, Facebook friends, missing persons, even paparazzi celebrity captures. More closely they resemble surveillance photos, which is what they really are. They are meant to challenge our expectations of anonymity and privacy. 

Sheri Lynn Behr began photographing musicians and celebrities at the concert halls and clubs in the New York area. Working on assignment for major record labels, her photographs of performers such as The Ramones, David Bowie, Patti Smith and the Rolling Stones appeared in most music publications of the time and are now collected and exhibited as fine art photographs.

After several years working in the music business, Behr decided to concentrate on personal work. This sent her on a journey that has included documentation, interpretation and transformation of images.

Photo projects have included work about 9/11, California intersections and Chinatown. Her photographs have been widely exhibited and have appeared in American and European publications. Her work was included in The Polaroid Collection, as well as in private collections in the US and Europe. Her most recent solo show, photographs of the iconic Lucky Cat, was on exhibit at No Roses Gallery in Los Angeles in the summer of 2011. Behr has received a 2012 Fellowship in Photography from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts.