Sovereign preview


Jocelyn Lee

35 color images; 72 pages; with an essay by Dr. April Watson, curator, photography Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art

“All my pictures begin with the body, and, ideally, nakedness. The unclothed body is our primary vessel, sensual home, and gateway to the rest of the world.” — Jocelyn Lee

 Sensual. Vibrant. Self-possessed. The women visualized here are individual, yet iconic in how Jocelyn Lee chooses to frame each one, subtly shifting focus and leading the viewer to engage subject and environment equally in the immersive scenes of her creation.

Lee’s third monograph, Sovereign, emerged out of two bodies of work (“Dark Matter” and the series and traveling exhibition “The Appearance of Things”) and a decades-long practice of what Lee refers to as a longitudinal study, portraits of people over time.

This selection of images evolved directly from Lee ‘s expression of interest in working with Minor Matters: “It’s time we revolutionize the image world and flood it full of real women in real bodies, feeling sensual and wonderful in their very human skin.”  The desire to accomplish this is challenged by market realities. Advertising’s messaging over the last fifty years pushes women to consider how we might modify, rather than embrace, the process of aging, and most of the images surrounding us glorify youth. Lee’s luscious works of still lifes and portraits provide a new mirror, reflecting the beauty, strength, and resilience with which she sees the world.  


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