In Chicks with Guns, Lindsay McCrum has created a cultural portrait of women gun owners in America through photographs that are both beautiful and in a sense unexpected. The book examines issues of self-image and genre through the visual conventions of portraiture and fashion, but the guns are presented here not as superimposed props but as the very personal lifestyle accessories of the subjects portrayed. And it defies stereotypes often associated with aspects of the popular culture of both guns and women.
Like the 15-20 million women gun owners in this country, the women we meet in Chicks with Guns (their portraits are accompanied by their own words), reside in all regions of the country, come from all levels of society, and participate seriously in diverse shooting activities. The women here are sportswomen, hunters, and petition shooters. Some use guns on their jobs and some for self-defense. They may not all be classically beautiful, but in these photographs they all look beautiful, exuding honesty, confidence, poise, power and pride.
They are real women with real guns that play in their lives. By focusing her camera respectfully on this particular aspect of the American scene, gun-wielding women and girls, Lindsay McCrum sheds new light on who we are in America today.
Lindsay McCrum is a California-based fine art photographer. She received her Bachelor of Fine Arts from Yale University and her MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute. Trained as a painter in oils, McCrum applies the classical conventions of that training—light, form, gesture and posture—to cultural photographs of our times.
In addition to Chicks with Guns, her past photographic projects include portraits that examine aging in the faces of men; study boys, costumes and popular culture in Superheroes and Commandos; and look at young girls playing dress-up and the shaping of contemporary notions of fashion and beauty. These series and other work have been exhibited in galleries in the U.S. and Europe.