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An interview with Jennette Williams and Mary Ellen Mark
“This was the third or fourth time I applied for this prize, and I’m glad I did. All photographers—I won’t speak for everyone—but most photographers I know want to see their work published, because it’s a way of getting work out of the box in your apartment or studio, out of the box in your gallery, to have the work accessible and seen. . . . I wanted to honor the subjects that I was photographing, which were women who were very comfortable in their bodies, which I was not or had ever been. . . . The Bathers questions what makes for beauty in women. I don’t really have an answer to that, but I know that it has something to do with an acceptance of one’s form, being within a community of women, and living in, rather than fighting against, your body.”
A full transcript of the interview
Jennette Williams is a photography instructor at the School of Visual Arts in New York City. She has a master’s degree from Yale University and has been awarded a Guggenheim fellowship and grants from the New York Foundation for the Arts. Her work has been shown in exhibitions at the Bonni Benrubi, Robert Mann, and Opsis galleries in New York; the Museum of Photographic Arts in San Diego, and the Photography Gallery at Florida International University in Miami. Her images have also been featured in such publications as Blind Spot, the New York Times Magazine, and the Village Voice, as well as in the book The Spirit of Family by Al and Tipper Gore.
Jennette Williams’s work was selected from three hundred entries in the third biennial CDS/Honickman First Book Prize in Photography competition. The Bathers has been widely reviewed and was featured in the New Yorker and Photo District News, among others, as well as in a Daylight Magazine podcast.
More About Jennette Williams