First some background:
I came to New York City to go to school (Barnard for a B.A.) and never left.
Post M.F.A. at Pratt, I’ve worked for a private investigator, spent some time in art book publishing, wrote a novel (The Dick and Jane, based on my detective experiences), taught photography (predominantly at the School of Visual Arts in Manhattan but with stints at Pratt and Empire State College), gotten grants (Asian Cultural Council, Fulbright, Siskind, New York Foundation of the Arts, American Institute of Sri Lankan Studies), done artist residencies (Yaddo, Macdowell, Light Work, Altos de Chavon, Three Shadows), published (writing and photographs), had shows (US, Europe, Asia) and traveled. For more specifics and info: http://abbyrobinson.com/bio_solo.html
Then fast forward:
While Body Imaging was a new way for me to make work, it was also a surprising mash-up of past and present. My early studies in architectural history and interior design were prep for the installation component. The Martha-Stewart-cardiac-arrest-color paint at the abandoned clinic where I did the first piece reminded me a lot of interiors I’d photographed in Asia (see my Here & There and In Camera series on my website www.abbyrobinson.com). Scrutinizing body parts wasn’t exactly new either. I’ve been making self-portraits for more than 30 years in my series AutoWorks http://abbyrobinson.com/autoworks.php. And I’d certainly probed “public” versus “personal” issues in my Perdue series (http://abbyrobinson.com/perdue.php) and, of course, when I worked with a private investigator.
I spent a month this past summer as an artist-in-residence at the Cosmopolitan’s P3 Studio and it was a fantastic–in more ways than one given the fantasyland location–place to work. Living in the hotel like a grown-up, gambling and decadent Eloise was luxurious fun. I met some really terrific, generous people both on and off the Strip, saw some astoundingly beautiful desert, and had the great good luck and opportunity to return to NYC with a lot of solid work. Not everything that happens in Vegas stays in Vegas. Sin City/ Lost Wages/Glitter Gulch/the Entertainment Capital of the World was equal parts weird and wonderful and I’d go back in a spin of the roulette wheel.