CLAIRE A. WARDEN


Claire A. Warden (b. Montreal, Quebec) is an artist working in Phoenix, Arizona. She received her BFA in Photography and BA in Art History from Arizona State University.

Claire’s work has been exhibited widely in the United States and abroad. She has been named LensCulture's Top 50 Emerging Talents, Photo Boite’s 30 Under 30 Women Photographers, and a Clarence John Laughlin Award finalist. She received an Artist Research and Development Grant from the Arizona Commission on the Arts, Philadelphia Photo Arts Center exhibition award and the Ed Friedman Award from the Griffin Museum of Photography. Her work has been featured in publications, including Real Simple magazine, Der Greif Magazine, Strange Fire Collective, Common Ground Journal, Prism Magazine, and Diffusion Magazine. Claire was awarded artist residencies through the Alfred and Trafford Klots International Program for Artists, Art Intersection in Arizona, the Center for Photography at Woodstock and LATITUDE in Chicago.

Artist Statement

Mimesis is grounded in issues of identity, the other and the psychology of knowledge and power. The creation of this series comes at a time when the struggle to accept the unfamiliar is pervasive in our culture. When looking at these images, the urge to ask “what is it?” echoes the question, “what are you?” – a question that has been directed towards me countless times and one that I find increasingly difficult to answer. Raised in a family with a diverse ethnic background has led me to reflect on the fluid, abstract nature of identity, which informs my use of photography.

In this series, I use a cameraless photographic process on negative film, which incorporates saliva and mark-making. The negatives are scanned and the final images are produced as large-scale pigment prints. I find this process to be uniquely qualified to address the biologic and socio-cultural forces that stimulate the emergence of an identity. This process produces a series of images that reveal certain truths in the abstract nature of identity, my personal experiences as an immigrant and a person of color, as well as the inadequacies of language to describe oneself. Resembling systems of the natural sciences—microscopic, topographic and celestial—the photographs allegorize the complexity of systems that make up an individual and the perception of self.

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