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Cry Laughing

Collection item 2011.012.0001
  • Period Twentieth-Century
  • Materials 8 Chromogenic prints
  • Object Number 2011.012.0001
  • Dimensions each print: 16 x 12 in.; 40.64 x 30.48 cm
  • Credit Line Gift of the Heather and Tony Podesta Collection, Washington, DC, 2011

Sam Taylor-Wood is an English filmmaker, photographer, and visual artist. In her highly choreographed photographic and filmic scenes, Taylor-Wood examines inner states of being such as emotional isolation, vulnerability, self-absorption, anguish but also social confrontation. Her explorations of how emotions are expressed have resulted in numerous works, including the two works from The Phillips Collection Cry Laughing and Self Portrait as a Tree. While Cry Laughing is made in 1997, which was made the year she was diagnosed with colon cancer, the allegorical Self-Portrait as a Tree, is made in 2000, when she was diagnosed with breast cancer, hence responding directly to the artist’s personal cope with mortality.