The underlying basis of all my work has been about the structure of urban and suburban space and about how communities begin to form. – Catherine Opie
A frequent subject in Catherine Opie’s photographs is the social construct of community. The members, rituals, and settings of varying communities – lesbian families, surfers, and high school football players, among them – all become the subject of her images. Opie’s High School Football series (2007-09) was shot in nine locations around the country and includes landscape and portrait photographs. In Football Landscape #16 (Waianae Vs. Leilehua, Waianae, Hi), the familiar action of a high school football game plays out in the foreground. And though the field, bleachers, and uniforms are a constant across all American cities, the Hawaiian mountains in the background offer a striking, even uncanny, backdrop for an image so familiar to almost anyone who grew up in the US. Opie’s work has been the subject of numerous one-person museum exhibitions and is in the collection of many museums.