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Based on a True Story

  • Accession Number:
    1997:154
  • Artist:
    Cowin, Eileen
  • Date:
    1993
  • Medium:
    Digital print
  • Dimensions:
    image: 8 in x 16 in; paper: 15 in x 22 1/8 in
  • Credit Line:
    Gift of James J. Brennan, Brennan Steel

Tags:

About the Photographer

Cowin, Eileen

American, b. 1947

With a skillful use of gesture and pose, Eileen Cowin creates mysterious, theatrical scenarios for the camera. Blending the ecclesiastical allegory of the fifteenth century, the romantic vision of the nineteenth century, and the Surrealist trends of the twentieth, Cowin draws inspiration from European painting. Her work emulates poses seen in paintings by Jan Van Eyck, Ingres, and Goya while adopting the styles of film noir and television. Untitled (Magritte) reveals Cowin's penchant for suspense and the recurring themes of privacy, victimization, and voyeurism.

Since 1970 Eileen Cowin's photographs have been featured in over twenty-five one-person exhibitions in Europe, Japan, and the United States, including at the Cleveland Museum of Art; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; and Museum of Contemporary Photography. Cowin studied with Aaron Siskind and Arthur Siegel at the Institute of Design, Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago, where she earned an MS degree in photography in 1970. Eileen Cowin is a professor of art at California State University, Fullerton.