About the Artist
Anna Reed received her BFA from Illinois Wesleyan University and her MA from the University of Illinois. She is currently pursing her MFA at Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA). Her digital and photo based collages and drawings have been exhibited in galleries in Chicago and the Midwest. She currently lives in Chicago, IL and teaches drawing, photography, and video at Leyden High Schools.

Artist Statement
My work questions the boundaries between the physical and virtual world in areas of identity, privacy, and personal agency. In 1967 Guy Debord wrote that life and the spectacle is a social relation mediated by images. I believe we have arrived in that state. The most recent racial atrocities have been brought to light through digital means which have in turn spurned a physical world into action, documented in the virtual space and back again creating a new space of altered reality.

I sourced all the images from my body through the use of photographs and body scans. I then distorted and fragmented the images, alluding to both human perception and the digital processing of images. Lastly, I sampled the fragments to prioritize the darkest values with black point compensation, and merged with the original body photograph.

Black Point compensation is a digital term used to determine how the darkest values in an image will be rendered in print form. Often the darkest values are clipped in order to preserve the full range of value in the lighter areas. Compensation for racial injustice, specifically for black people, is an unanswered question. In these works, I pair the digital and social concepts to question what is prioritized, what is lost, and what does the individual choose?

As a biracial person, it is an internal and external struggle. How do I show up for myself and other people? How do I want to be perceived? What parts do I project, curate, hide, and fragment? I believe all people can relate to these questions but they become far more challenging for the BIPOC community. I hope to activate the viewer to consider their own positioning, what choices they make, and where do they have agency.

Video about the artist’s process and ideas