Contemporary artist Terry Braunstein is known for photomontage, a collage technique that uses parts of photographs. Born in Washington, D.C., Braunstein received her BFA at the University of Michigan and her MFA at the Maryland Institute of Art. Her photomontage work has taken the form of artist’s books, sculpture, video, photography, and public art.
The two-page spread from her book On Wrinkles [SAAM, 1994.4.3A and 1994.4.3B] addresses aging, a thought provoking issue in America’s youth driven culture. Combining words and images from magazines, Braunstein takes a contemporary look at a traditional art theme. “Vanitas,” the Latin word for vanity, refers to a genre of art that symbolizes the brevity of human life and the transience of earthly pleasures and achievements. Vanitas still life paintings were popular in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, especially in the Netherlands. In those works, skulls, candles, and cut flowers were symbols for life’s brevity. What modern images has Braunstein used to achieve her aim?
Tiffany Farrell “Featured Artist,” 1001 Days and Nights of American Art Web site, entry for March 20, 2002 (Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian American Art Museum, 2002).