Over the last decade Charlie White has created some of the most arresting and trenchant images in contemporary photography. Through an extensive process that entails casting actors, creating characters, and building sets to construct scenes both disturbing and familiar, White dissects the violence, desires, and social anxieties that trouble the American collective unconscious.

Using a combination of fiction, artifice, and make-believe to represent the human condition, White’s photographs explore America’s social fictions and the tensions in identity and perception they generate. Through creating fictional narratives in his first photographic series Understanding Joshua in 2001 White bridged reality and fiction to evoke uncomfortable visual circumstances of human fear, anxiety, and alienation. In 2003 White exhibited And Jeopardize the Integrity of the Hull, a series of eleven photographs that moved away from the narrative tableau and towards a new form of photographic flatness, looking at popular notions of religion, entertainment, privacy, and pop culture through an infantilized lens of solid colors, imagined television shows, and child-like scenarios .

Three years later, in 2006, White exhibited Everything is American, a series of works in which he reconstructs and re-creates historical instances of collective trauma and national anguish, such as the 1970 Manson trail, the 1978 Jonestown massacre, and the 1996 Olympic injury of champion gymnast, Kerri Strug . In 2008 White exhibited Girl Studies, a series comprised of a 35mm short film titled American Minor, an experimental animation titled OMG BFF LOL, and a series of new photographs that move away from the use of the tableau and the fictional narrative. Girl Studies is the culmination of three years of research and production that expands far beyond the works exhibited. The series marks the broadest range in White’s practice to date and further evolves his specifically American cultural critique.

In addition to hie art work, White created a music video for the band Interpol in 2004 for the single EVIL, from the album Antics, and took part in the adicolor web campaign creating a short for the color PINK.

White received his BFA in 1994 from the School of Visual Arts, New York, and received his MFA from Art Center College of Design, Pasadena, CA, in 1998. He is currently the Director of the MFA program at the Roski School of Fine Arts, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA.

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