"Muse"

Tony Folliard Gallery
233 N. Milwaukee St.
Milwaukee, WI 53202
October 21 to November 26, 2022

In the spring of 2021, I started photographing a close friend of my daughter‘s. She has incredible arms and legs that are a lot more bendy than mine. In addition, she shaved her head and hence gave me an easy reference for my bald-headed women that I started depicting in early 2020.

It goes without saying that it is also a lot easier than handling the self-timer I occasionally use for poses.

The images in which I have used her as a model have an intimacy for me that doesn’t come forward when I use existing photography.

In this show I decided to exclusively work from the sources I had created with her. Having fewer choices, limiting myself is generally freeing and as this show focuses on watercolors there is an additional boundary that I experience as calming.

Creating much larger images has been a great technical stretch for me. Watercolor is a technique that requires utmost attention yet also carries the tenderness of the moment with it that feels physically and emotionally very good to me.

The baldness relates to a sense of deep vulnerability I experienced during my injury, where I was incredibly helpless. It also represents the vulnerability we all have felt in the more than two years of the pandemic.

I want to show a vulnerability that also faces the viewer with strength and courage, not victimhood.

The “nakedness” is in full view. We are all hungry for deep authenticity in sharing ourselves with all our flaws, insecurities and fears, hungry for human touch and closeness. And we also desire our resilience in these times.


Anne Siems

September 2022

Spirit of Hope (44x46”) 2022 watercolor on paper.JPG