28. Catherine Opie

Opie's portraiture always feels direct, like there's a truth bared by the sitters, whether they be supermodels clad in luxury gowns or teenage football players still perspiring from practice drills. She speaks often of "bearing witness"—to life, to people, or to an event. Over the last 10 years, our cameras have gone from an apparatus to supplement memory to a device that replaces our memory and perception altogether. Opie's series on President Obama's inauguration speaks to just that. Her photographs are a reminder to remove our new Insta-tinted frames and pay attention to the things we see through our lenses.

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Above: Untitled #5 (Inauguration Portrait), 2009