Image above: Robert Melee, Facelift, 1997, pigment print, 17 5/16 x 24 inches, courtesy of Andrew Kreps Gallery and Higher Pictures
While most are no stranger to at least a small dose of the dysfunctional family, Robert Melee takes things to the next level with his latest set of photos, A dozen Roses. His mother, Rose, is thrust into various environments, often while naked and always intoxicated, where she is photographed in positions of humiliation and vulnerability.
Robert Melee, On the Road, 1993, pigment print, 17 5/16 x 24 inches, courtesy of Andrew Kreps Gallery and High Pictures
With a wild mane of hair and clown-like makeup, she is made into a fool. Rose is photographed in unflattering light and outfits that range from out of date grandma to grungy prostitute. The photographs are staged, but make you strongly question the moral values of the mother/son relationship, embracing the taboos and turning domestic life upside down.
The exhibition at Higher Pictures runs through August 1.
Photographs from the opening night by Polina Neshpor.