the artist

Sarah Kaufman

Sarah Kaufman

Philadelphia, PA

Sarah Kaufman

Kaufman’s photography explores relationships among people, their bodies, and the environments that they inhabit.  It also grows from an interest bathing throughout art history (both indoors and out in nature) and the potential for a pictorial space where the body can be represented and celebrated openly.  Her work considers the reflexivity in viewing imagery of people fully absorbed by their physical and psychological surroundings.

Devil’s Pool stems from Kaufman’s love for Philadelphia’s Wissahickon Park and the respite that it provides.  People from all over are drawn to this urban swimming hole as a place to play and revel in physicality and nature.  The images depict moments of coherence among our bodies and the world around us.  At Devil’s Pool, Kaufman expands her admiring picture of everyday bodies, their owners absorbed in unselfconscious presence.

Fast Facts

Name: Sarah Kaufman


Place of Birth: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

BA – Haverford College, Major in Fine Arts with a Concentration in Photography and a Minor in Spanish, 2003
MFA – Photography and Film from Virginia Commonwealth University, 2008

Notable or memorable instructors or mentors:
William Earle Williams of Haverford College

Particular field of study or class work:
Fine Arts, Photography

Major influences/admired artists:
I admire painters who have represented real human forms, naked and free in their vulnerability and strength. David Hockney, Jenny Saville, and Philip Pearlstein are a few whose work has had an impact on me. My work has led me to think about the politics of looking at the body and the writings of theorist Michael Fried, who complicates photography in relation to painting, theatricality, and voyeurism. Justine Kurland’s photographs and Will Oldham’s music inspire me for their romantic take on reveling in the everyday freedoms and joys of having a body. Similarly, Thomas Eakins’ 19th century photographic studies of his male students jumping and bathing in Dove Lake near Philadelphia have always communicated something exciting to me, from the first time I saw them as a teenager.

Favorite materials or media:
Medium format film photography
Film/digital hybrid processes
Black & white film photography.

School or university affiliation (when Convention Center acquired artwork):
Full Time Professor at Ursinus College in Collegeville, PA. I teach all levels of photography, both darkroom and digital, as well as courses in cross-media studio practices and critique.

Gallery Representation (when Convention Center acquired artwork):
Porter Contemporary, NYC

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