Flaw(less) explores themes of identity, stereotypes, and perception across cultures in works from the Kemper Museum Permanent Collection. These works, dating from 1920 to 2013, present an opportunity to consider our shared experiences in the ways we present ourselves, how we are perceived, and what we may consider to be flaws in our appearance as we are subjected to the gaze of others through generations.
These issues are front and center in Nikki S. Lee’s poignant photograph, The Hispanic Project (20) (1998), part of a larger series in which South Korean artist Lee adopts the aesthetic of a range of subcultures and communities. Lee’s work highlights the prevalence of stereotypes and the influence of environment on self-expression.
The works in this exhibition reflect the connections between artists and their subjects—familiar, voyeuristic, open, closed, exploitive—and begin to unpack the dynamics of perception, difference, and representation. Flaw(less) seeks to open conversations about value, empathy, and humanity by challenging standards of beauty and representing it in a range of ways, to understand how our once-perceived flaws can transform into strengths. What do you see in you as flaw(less)?
The Teen Arts Council is a youth development program providing teens in the Kansas City metro area the opportunity to participate as leaders in the local arts community through innovative workshops, planning teen-focused events, and receiving mentorship from Kemper Museum staff.
2018 Teen Arts Council: Anya Asjad, Audrey Diggs, River Hennick, Van Hmung, Joardy Looney III, Katie Moore, Anthony Moses III, Kelly Murphy, Leslie Ponce-Diaz, Alecia Sharpe, and Auryona Webb; Instructor Jessica Thompson-Lee.
Kemper Teen Arts Council is made possible through the generosity of Stanley Bushman and Ann Canfield, Charles Helzberg and Sandra Baer.