Jennifer Greenburg

Not Just Another Pretty Face 2019

Program Overview


Jennifer Greenburg

Revising History, is a body of work made by replacing the central figure in found-vernacular photographs, with an image of myself. I do this in order to call attention to the power photography has in creating cultural mythologies. Photography allows us to remember selectively because it liberates a moment from context, erases vantage, and is inevitably susceptible to a co-opted or underwritten fantasy.

The captivating aesthetics present in post-war American photography encourage us to believe that it was a time of civility when it was actually a time of discrimination and gender inequality. The visual seduction acts as a mask­– covering up and glossing over a past that is more convenient to forget. The camera excels at assisting us in revising harsh truths and diverts our attention away from historic realities. I utilize the captivating visuals from that era to draw my audience into a conversation about this revisionism.

Using an elaborate, multi-disciplinary and performative process, I transform into the subject of the photograph. My end result appears as a record of time and place yet crafts its own reality, myth, and falsehood not unlike a traditionally made photograph. I look for underlining narratives, that quietly hide behind outward glamour.   Images that depict anachronistic views of gender allow me to draw an analogy with contemporary problems still faced by women.

By presenting portraits that are greatly transformed from their original intention, I foster a conversation about how historical depictions of women are used to help us idealize our past. I intend the series to engage the audience in a conversation about the way we interpret the media, record personal memories, and establish a collective history.

A commission could be made using source imagery from a patron’s vernacular history, or, could be created using a narrative meaningful to the patron.






For more information or to commission a unique work of art through Not Just Another Pretty Face, contact Maria Nelson at or 773.324.5520 x1014.