In her photographic series, Women and Guns, Amy Stein convinces us that we are looking at snapshots of everyday life for one sector of American society. The formal authenticity of Stein’s work is, in fact, a method of communicating ideas rather than purely information. Stein captures honesty and frankness in her images, creating the beginning of a narrative about gender and violence in America. We are forced to reexamine our notions of femininity when we are presented with an image, for example, of a woman at a shooting range. The young girl looks back at us, hands behind her back, confronting the viewer with uncertainty. The presence of the older man holding the gun further emphasizes male and female power relationships, intertwined with the possibility for violence. It is in this moment, somewhere between subject matter and documentation, when we must ask ourselves, what is our relationship to these images?
Stein was raised in Washington, DC, and Karachi, Pakistan. She holds a BS in political science from James Madison University and a MS in political science from the University of Edinburgh in Scotland. In 2006, Stein received her MFA in photography from the School of Visual Arts in New York. She teaches photography at Parsons The New School for Design and the School of Visual Arts in New York City.
–Natalie Karic ‘12 Gund Gallery Associate