Pictura Gallery

Claire A. Warden


Dates + Events

Block Party + Gallery Walk Opening Reception

Friday, June 3 | 5:00pm - 9:00pm

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4th and Rogers Block Party!

Friday, June 3 | 5:00pm - 9:00pm

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On View: June 3 - August 27

There’s a lot happening on the surface of Claire A. Warden’s prints. She brings the sensibility of a painter into the photographic process with her mark-making techniques. Mimesis gives viewers a place to get lost inside layers of form and space. To revel in the beautiful abstractions is a rich experience on its own. There’s also a lot going on under the surface in Warden’s work. The forms in her photographs cycle through elemental shapes and lines that cannot quite be decoded, yet hint at a type of sacred iconography or something cosmic. Warden uses her own DNA to create textures that complicate the perfection of geometric forms, adding the person into the frame.

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 as a person of mixed ethnic heritage in United States — is at the heart of my research.

In 2013, I discovered a unique cameraless photographic process on black and white negative film. This process acts as a sort of etching on the film emulsion using saliva and the result leaves behind only metallic silver from the emulsion and biologic matter – on top of which I use marking-making to paint, scratch, or cut away portions of the negative. I find this process to be uniquely qualified to address my questions, experiences, and research as a person of color. This process produces a series of images that simultaneously reveal certain truths in my experiences surrounding identity 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. Over time, I have come to view these pieces as a kind of self-portraiture – one that does not show you what I look like but one that is built from my DNA and shaped by my experiences.

Claire A. Warden (b. Montreal, Quebec) is an artist working in Phoenix, Arizona.

Claire’s series Mimesis has been exhibited widely in the United States and abroad, including solo exhibitions at The University of Kansas Art & Design Gallery, Philadelphia Photo Arts Center, and Colorado Photographic Arts Center. 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 Contemporary Photography 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, Lenscratch, 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, LATITUDE in Chicago, ACRE, and Light Work in 2022.


Exhibition Archives