Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Art and Design

First Advisor

Maria P. Gindhart - Chair

Second Advisor

Florencia Bazzano-Nelson

Third Advisor

Constance J. Thalken


Laura Aguilar, John Coplans, and Carla Williams explore, through photographic self-portraiture, the representation of unconventional bodies. Even though the images produced by these artists are quite different in style, they all reflect an interest in a representation of the nude human body that challenges the traditional concepts of beauty so prevalent in a Western society obsessed with physical perfection. Even though the three artists produced their photographic self-portraits at roughly the same time, using the traditional gelatin silver process and responding to standards of classical beauty, their divergent life experiences, education, and social backgrounds have led them to question an almost universal vision of the perfect body from a broad spectrum of perspectives.