Jeanette May is a photo-based artist using a critical, sometimes playful, approach to investigate representation itself. Although May now works exclusively in photography, her background in painting informs the subjects she explores and her approach to art production.
May’s most recent project, Tech Vanitas, utilizes anachronistic technologies to confront still life’s traditional tension between temptation and rejection of worldly goods. We live in an age filled with devices that make domestic life faster, smarter, easier, and more complicated. The more we yearn to keep current—the newest phone, computer, camera, audio system, espresso maker—the more we produce, consume, and discard. Cutting-edge technology becomes outdated, embarrassing, quaint, collectible, and finally, antiquated or forgotten. May's photos confront the anxiety surrounding technological obsolescence.
Jeanette May received her MFA in Photography from CalArts and her BFA in Painting from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. She has been awarded grants, fellowships, and residencies from the NEA Regional Artists’ Projects Fund, Illinois Arts Council, Chicago Dept of Cultural Affairs, Ms. Foundation, and Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts. Her work is exhibited in internationally, including New York; Washington, DC; Chicago; Los Angeles; Toronto, Canada; Sandviken, Sweden; and Athens, Greece. May teaches at the International Center of Photography in NY and lives in Brooklyn.