Clarissa Bonet & Keliy Anderson-Staley at the SFO Museum in San Francisco

Image: Caroline, Emily, Chloe 2014 by Keliy Anderson-Staley. A black and white photograph of three teenage girls. All three of them are sitting on the ground outside facing the viewer. They are not smiling, but embrace each other.
Keliy Anderson-Staley, Caroline, Emily, Chloe, 2014.

Two of our gallery artists, Keliy Anderson-Staley and Clarissa Bonet, both currently have work on view at the SFO Museum in San Franscisco! Keliy Anderson-Staly’s series “[hyphen] Americans” is on display in Terminal 3 at the museum until December 19, and work from Clarissa Bonet’s series “City Space” will be on view until July 22 in Terminal 2.

The title of Anderson-Staley’s project “[hyphen] Americans” alludes to the hyphenated character of American identities (Irish-American, African-American, etc.), while only emphasizing the shared American identity. Therefore, although the heritage of each individual might be inferred from assumptions we make about features and costumes, the viewer is encouraged to suspend the kind of thinking that would traditionally assist in decoding these images in the context of American identity politics. The artist explains her process creating tint-type photography:

Like the photographers of the 1850s, I use hand-poured chemistry that I mix myself according to original recipes, period brass lenses and wooden view cameras to expose positive images directly onto blackened aluminum and glass. […] The nineteenth-century collodion process was frequently used for “scientific” ethnographic studies of the human face, many of which were based in racist assumptions about physiognomy. In using this process, I hope to make the history of portrait photography one of my primary subjects.

Image: Rajab and Laramie, 2018 by Keliy Anderson-Staley. A black and white photograph of two young men sitting at a table. The man on the left is wearing a patterned shirt and has dark hair and complexion. The man on the right has medium-colored hair and a light complexion. He wears a plaid shirt. The two men are holding hands and looking straight out at the viewer.
Keliy Anderson-Staley, Rajab and Laramie, 2018.

In Clarissa Bonet’s ongoing project City Space, she explores aspects of the urban space in both a physical and psychological context. Interested in the physical space of the city and its emotional and psychological impact on the body, she uses the camera to transform the physical space into a psychological one, providing a personal interpretation of the urban landscape. She says:

City Space is an ongoing photographic exploration of the urban environment and my perception of it.  I am interested in the physical space of the city and its emotional and psychological impact on the body. […] Stark light, deep shadow and muted color are visual strategies I explore to describe the city.  I use the city as a stage and transform the physical space into a psychological one. The images I create do not represent a commonality of experience but instead provide a personal interpretation of the urban landscape.

Based in Chicago, Bonet received her M.F.A. in photography from Columbia College Chicago in 2012, and her B.S. in Photography from the University of Central Florida.

Image: In Progress, 2016 by Clarissa Bonet. A photograph of a variety of buildings in a city. There is a person with long hair painting a black while in the foreground.
Clarissa Bonet, Progress, 2016.
Image: Emerge, 2017 by Clarissa Bonet. A person wearing navy blue walks out of a pitch-black doorway while blowing cigarette smoke. The person is surrounded by the outside wall of the building, which is a light beige brick. There is a stop sign to the left and a no parking sign to the right. Stark shadows enter the frame.
Clarissa Bonet, Emerge, 2017.