ALICE SHAW, Bellocq/Dodgson, 2011; 5 x 7 in., lenticular print. Edition of 15.
Combining the mid-19th century photographic work of Charles Dodgson with that of early 20th century portraitist E.J. Bellocq, San Francisco-based artist Alice Shaw created this lenticular print. The lenticular technique, developed in the 1940s, interlaces two images and combines them with a lens that magnifies certain parts of the image that are visible from specific angles, thus creating an illusion of depth or movement. Dodgson (more famously known by his pseudonym Lewis Carroll and as the author of Alice in Wonderland) photographed young girls, whereas Bellocq is best known for his photographs of the working women of New Orleans’ Storyville district. Shaw came to see similarities in each man’s portraiture almost by accident. She explains: “I was making collages by mixing photographs that I traced. For example, tracing Dodgson photos and photographs from my childhood, making collages and Henry Darger-like drawings. Only afterward did I see a similarity between Bellocq and Dodgson and recognize that the lenticular process was the best way to demonstrate that similarity.” As for the subjects of her mildly mischievous analogy she says: “Whatever these women and girls might have been, they were definitely muses.” Shaw received her MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute. Her monograph, People Who Look Like Me, was published in April 2006.