Ramirez has some art-world movers and shakers among his subjects. He's not investigating cheap, ugly purses carried by poor women; he likes attractive, stylish things. This isn't a sociological project, but a little socioeconomic diversity might give an interesting twist to the work and make it more multilayered. Though the photographs are well done and appealing, they're wandering over into an Andy Warhol sort of vanity portraiture. I'm not sure that was his intent.
O'Neal and Ramirez make us confront the way we make judgments about people, how we search for clues to the identity of others. We all have some level of immersion in pop and consumer culture that leads us to draw conclusions from these objects – about the things people show and the things they hide. Our fluency may vary, but it's a silent language we all speak.
Courtesy of Finesilver Gallery
The images make you wonder about people. Who needs five huge jars of Vaseline?