PHOTOGRAPHY AND PHOTOMONTAGE
BY MAXINE HELFMAN
DALLAS PHOTOGRAPHER MAXINE HELFMAN’S PROVOCATIVE FOREFATHERS SERIES RE-EXAMINES
RACE, HISTORY, AND IDENTITY IN THE 21ST CENTURY BY LOOKING BACK AT OUR FOUNDING FATHERS.
ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM
lthough photographer Maxine Helfman modestly brands herself “a self-taught late bloomer,” her track record of fine art,
As singular as her entire Forefathers series is, Helfman’s long been concerned with themes of identity, race, gender, and
culture, and the provocateur in her is more interested in raising questions than in answering them; that’s up to her viewers.
Photographers Richard Avedon, Carrie Mae Weems, Irving Penn, and Deborah Turbeville are among her favorites, but
Helfman’s work evinces a painterly quality that’s all her own. “I love portraiture, and I love painting,” she says. “That’s definitely
my inspiration, and it’s definitely something that seems to happen with the camera. And while I love making aesthetically
beautiful images, I decided that with my fine art I wanted to make a statement about things I’m passionate about—race and
gender and inequality.” Helfman walks us through her Forefathers in this exclusive Patron print exhibition.
Maxine Helfman, William H. Harrison, 2014, photography/collage