Women In Power
Caitlin Teal Price, Balancing Art and Life
Caitlin Teal Price is a 42-year-old artist based in Washington, DC. She earned her BFA from Parsons School of Design in 2002 and an MFA from the Yale School of Art in 2009. As a graduate student, Price studied photography with Gregory Crewdson, Tod Papageorge, and Philip Lorca Dicorcia, among others.
Price’s art is influenced by many daily and personal experiences, including raising children. Being a mother has required her to be flexible with her studio time and has impacted her artistic process. Prior to becoming a parent, much of Price’s work involved travels to various settings to portray people interacting with their surrounding environments. Her project, Annabelle, Annabelle (2009-2012), required detailed preparations such as the scouting of locations which offered the ideal lighting, mood, and form that Price envisioned for the series. After she discovered the right places to stage her compositions, Price sought out models to participate in the final photograph.
Price’s recent work Scratch Drawings represents a slightly different focus than her previous photographic series. She is now making mixed-media work that combines photography with drawing and instead of depicting the lives of others, she has become the subject, with each work representing what curator Lily Siegel describes as “a memoir of this moment in the artist’s life.” Her role as a mother necessitates spending less time exploring various locations, so Price has shifted to working with quotidian objects and phenomena closer to home. About the transformation, Price reflects that, “I needed to find alternative ways to work. I no longer had the time and freedom to jump in my car for months at a time to travel around the country making pictures. I needed to find a way to work closer to home while surrounded by my family and children. I started looking at the world differently. And as a result, my practice and my work changed.”
For the first time in her professional art practice, Price is working in a studio environment. The first body of work Price made in the studio is Collection (2017–2018), a series that conflates life and art and was realized in tandem with her children. Collection contains photographic compositions of discarded objects that her sons had gathered and enthusiastically shared with her. Price took these items back to her studio, sorted them, and saw that the light from the studio windows created deep, dark shadows which inspired unique still life compositions. The depth and form within these photographs give them a sculptural quality. Price reveals that “Making these pictures not only gave me an opportunity to honor my children and their youth, innocence, and creativity, but at the same time bring it back to me. It allowed me to be both the artist and the mother.”
Price’s own experiences and means for being flexible and embracing ambiguity reflect how she wants her art to be perceived by the world. Regarding her intent, she says, “I hope to bring my viewers new avenues of thought and to inspire people to think and look differently.”
Price just completed a large-scale, three panel work on paper that was commissioned for a building in Houston, Texas. And her current series Scratch Drawings was recently exhibitedat Candela Gallery in Richmond VA.
Price’s shift from photographer to a mixed media artist exemplifies her ability to take risks, adapt life to art, and balance juxtaposing ideas. This shift also marks a breakthrough in her career.