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Pinky/MM Bass (Primary)

Cancer from the Contemplating My Internal Organs series

21st century
Medium & Support
Gelatin silver print with embroidery thread on paper
Sheet: 9 7/8 x 6 1/2 in. , Image: 9 1/2 x 5 3/4 in.
Art Photography
Object Type
Credit Line
Museum purchase
Accession Number
In Copyright
© Pinky/MM Bass

Frontal view of female nude, from just below eyes to just above knees. Embroidered over the figure is a skeleton rising up to Cancer, the crab, on chest. Her sister was dealing with cancer when this work was created.

Label History

Colored embroidery pierces through a nude female figure in Bass's Cancer from the series Contemplating My Internal Organs. The threads form a skeleton on the lower half while a crab weighs upon the figure's chest–a play upon the astrological sign Cancer and a reference to the ravages of the disease. The body depicted in the image, captured with a pinhole camera, is that of the artist, who began integrating needlework into her pinhole photography as a healing toll following her sister's diagnosis with cancer. The composition assists the artist as well as the viewer in confronting aging, death, and life's balance of joy and sorrow. Bass is known for her use of pinhole photography, a lensless process wherein light passes through a hole onto a prepared surface.

Exhibition Title: Asheville Art Museum: An Introduction to the Collection
Label Date: 2021
Type: Object Entry
Written by: Hilary Schroeder


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