Critical Mass 2014 Rauschenberg Residency Award Announced!

We are pleased to announce that Critical Mass Top 50 photographer Tamara Staples has been chosen for the Robert Rauschenberg Residency Award. Tamara will spend four weeks at the Rauschenberg estate on Captiva Island, working on a moving new personal project. Tamara writes,

“This project began when I inherited a box of pills that were owned by a person whose life was dictated by pill use and who eventually took their own life with an overdose. The arrangements I’ve made with the pills are meant to be a private and public portrait. I seek not only to make sense of our need to control the unknowable human condition and our fragile physiology, but also to understand our relationship to self-medication in a society where drug use is pervasive. The way we use our drugs and why is very different from the drug culture from the free-loving days of the 60’s. The aim of this project is to explore where we stand in the history of drugs and how we relate to it.”

Image by Tamara Staples from her new series
Image by Tamara Staples from her new series

Tamara Staples began her career as a prop stylist for print and television commercials. However, it was her fine art photography background that kept taking her behind the camera. As a photographer, her work has appeared in Harper’s Magazine, Time Out NY, New York Times, Men’s Journal, O Magazine, New York Magazine, and Town and Country to name a few. In 2001, Tamara published her first photography book entitled The Fairest Fowl: Portraits of Championship Chickens. That work has been featured on NPR’s This American Life and CNN. Tamara is the recipient of a NYFA Grant, PDN Self Promotion Award and the Bronze Award from the Royal Photographic Society. Tamara has a second book of chicken portraits entitled, The Magnificent Chicken, 2013, Chronicle Books. She lives and works in NYC.

Images by Tamara Staples from her Magnificent Chicken series

Congratulations, Tamara!