Roe Ethridge (b. 1969)
Thanksgiving 1984, 2009
photograph, chromogenic print
The Museum of Modern Art

Roe Ethridge does not just blur the line between art and commercial photography. He eliminates it.  Arguing, “Everything seems to end up in a magazine sooner or later,” he creates installations and book projects that mix fine-art photographs with magazine pictures.  Portraits, landscapes, glossy fashion photographs, and grainy catalog images are shuffled and re-arranged to tell stories, often giving way to a new, but nostalgic, tone.  Although Thanksgiving 1984 is only one image from a series, it pulls us in different directions, making our attention wander from the beautiful model to the kitschy table setting to the vintage wallpaper.  The food and the woman both look fake, but the holiday sentiment feels real.