I’ll Be Your Mirror: the Photographs of Kate O’Donovan Cook

Stephen Haller Gallery is delighted to announce the first solo museum exhibition of the young photographer
Kate O’Donovan Cook (MFAST ’10). I’ll Be Your Mirror: the Photographs of Kate O’Donovan Cook opens at the
Mattatuck Museum, Waterbury, CT on September 22nd and runs through November 17th, 2013. The reception takes place September 29th, 2-4 pm.

The artist’s technique often includes photographing herself as multiple people in a single image to frame a
narrative. Her work is characterized by explorations of identity through role playing in ways both theatrical
and fantastical. Cook’s painterly photographs reflect her strong narrative and visual heritage. Her father was
the renowned West Coast painter Gordon Cook, her grandfather Ireland’s master storyteller Frank
O’Connor, her grandmother Abbey theatre actress Evelyn Bowen.

The exhibition is composed of a selection of 21 photographs from 2008 to 2013. Often influenced by place,
the artist’s Waldorf Series depicts an assignation in a hotel room, in which the artist explores issues of
gender and the ambiguity of relationships. O’Donovan Cook plays with the idealization of a romantic
relationship, subverting it by portraying both characters: she is the male and the female engaged in this
ambiguous scenario.

Cook, who received her MFA in 2010 from Maryland Institute College of Art, says the classic row houses of
Baltimore reminded her of dovecotes. In the series Baltimore: the Family she wears a white bird-like mask.
Construction of Appearance: The Webster Series takes place in front of a mirror in the dressing room of a
famed music venue.

Earlier this year Cook was a featured artist in the exhibition How is the World? Recent Acquisitions of
Contemporary Photography at the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, DC, and was singled out for
praise by DC critics.

In a Washington City Paper review, Louis Jacobson writes, “Indeed, some of the exhibit’s less well-known artists
produce the most arresting works. Kate O’Donovan Cook cleverly melds the approaches of Cindy Sherman and
Gregory Crewdson, posing herself in elaborate scenarios, in this case a model being sketched by a group of ghostly
male artists.”According to Michael O’Sullivan of the Washington Post, the Corcoran Gallery of Art is known as a
“photography powerhouse.” In his review O’Sullivan writes, “Although the show includes such nationally well-
known names as Edward Burtyasky and Hank Willis Thomas, you should check out the work of Kate O’Donovan
Cook.”

Born and raised in San Francisco Kate O’Donovan Cook lives and works in New York City.

I’ll Be Your Mirror press release

Check out the Mattatuck Museum site for more information.

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