Amy Gelb is a photographer from New York City, currently based in Miami Beach. She is a graduate from the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University. Gelb’s project As Is: Women exposed (Daylight Books, 2018) consists of female nudes shot in a studio setting without artifice. Gelb’s plain-spoken, yet graceful portraits invite the viewer to engage in a conversation about women, self-image, and how we define true beauty. By cropping closely into her subjects, Gelb literalizes the compartmentalization of the female form and recreates the fragmentation of a woman’s identity.

Why can’t we shift the conversation away from being beautiful to more meaningful aspects of ourselves and each other? This is the question I explore with my photographic series, As Is. There are people trying to expand the definition of beauty, and that is a very positive thing, but I’d like to explore why women have a responsibility to try to be beautiful at all? For me, that’s the bigger question. I don’t have the answers and struggle with falling for beauty stereotypes myself. This project has been a journey for me; one I didn’t think I had the strength for until I turned 40 and finally decided to pick up a camera. As Is has allowed me to be a spy on humanity in a way I could never have imagined. While they have amazing personal stories, the identities of my subjects are completely anonymous. I can say they come from many walks of life are aged 19 to mid-90s and have been an inspiration to me. I don’t think the project will ever really be finished. I want to keep photographing women, relaying their stories and trying to change the conversation.

‘As Is’ has been published by Daylight Books and released on November 1, 2018.  

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