Jeanette May’s photographs examine how women have been able to look at men within the confines of Western visual and textual narratives. She considers the female gaze via the genre of directorial photography. Each scene includes a male character depicted in mid-storyline and an “implied woman” just outside the frame. He is the photo’s subject matter, but she is the narrative’s protagonist. Easy on the Eyes juxtaposes a visual narrative with a passage from a novel by a female author. The pairing creates neither irony nor parody but rather a disruption of the viewer’s desire for an uncomplicated tale.
This book includes an essay on Jeanette May’s photographs by Elizabeth Dastin.
Jeanette May is a photographer using a critical, sometimes playful, approach to investigate representation itself. May earned her MFA in Photography from CalArts and her BFA in Painting from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. She has been awarded grants and fellowships from the NEA Regional Artists’ Projects Fund, Illinois Arts Council, Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs, and Ms. Foundation. Her work is exhibited in galleries and museums internationally, including New York; Chicago; Los Angeles; Toronto, Canada; Sandviken, Sweden; and Athens, Greece. May lives in Brooklyn, NY.