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A Million in Prizes: (Scratch-Off 1). Archival pigment print on acid-free cotton rag paper with grey scratch-off material (40 x 26" edition of 7 // 16 x 24" edition of 7)
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A Million in Prizes: (Scratch-Off 3). Archival pigment print on acid-free cotton rag paper with grey scratch-off material (40 x 26" edition of 7 // 16 x 24" edition of 7)
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A Million in Prizes: (Scratch-Off 5). Archival pigment print on acid-free cotton rag paper with grey scratch-off material (40 x 26" edition of 7 // 16 x 24" edition of 7)
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A Million in Prizes: (Scratch-Off 2). Archival pigment print on acid-free cotton rag paper with grey scratch-off material (40 x 26" edition of 7 // 16 x 24" edition of 7)
Dara Vandor
A Million in Prizes: (Scratch-Off 4). Archival pigment print on acid-free cotton rag paper with grey scratch-off material (40 x 26" edition of 7 // 16 x 24" edition of 7)
A Million in Prizes: (For DC). Private commission. Archival pigment print on acid-free cotton rag paper with grey scratch-off material (30 x 40", edition of 2)

A Million in Prizes (2021)

 

In a world of infinite visuals, what does it mean to be denied access to an image? 

 

Curiosity and voyeurism have long been themes in my work, and this series extends that interest. I have made these images by layering the scratch-off material used for lottery tickets over a series of self-portraits. The medium appeals to our more tactile urges—the thought of scraping off that gummy, powdery substance—while also asking viewers to think about luck, discovery and the promise of something more. Collectors of this work will have the ability to (quite literally) expose something confidential and perhaps even damaging.

 

It is a series about trust, vulnerability and privacy.

 

We live in a confusing moment wherein one’s naked body can be weaponized, the stuff of blackmail, shame and worse. Even more paradoxically, our celebrity “idols” unblinkingly use nude or semi-nude images as capital on social media or in the glossy pages of the “right” publications. What is privacy in an age of interconnectivity and cloud storage? What does it mean to share pieces of oneself with a lover, a friend, or in the case of this series, a stranger?

 

Over the years, I have freely taken and sent photographs of myself. It is an undeniable thrill to mimic intimacy through imagery. I have never worried too much about where those pictures will end up (whether out of a belief in the integrity of those relationships or a blessed naïveté, I am not sure), but as I get older, I realize the power one relinquishes through these seemingly simple acts. I know that I have been tremendously lucky while many others have not.

 

It is my hope that collectors of this work are comfortable with mystery, content to think of these works as an idea rather than as an invitation. Though I think often about the line between viewer and voyeur, and at what point an itch gets scratched.

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