Collier's practice of collecting and rephotographing printed materials have led to comparisons with the work of the Pictures Generation, a loosely associated group of artists who came to the fore in the 1970s and are known for their critical approach to media culture. While Collier's work overlaps with those of Cindy Sherman, Richard Prince, or John Baldessari—with whom she studied at the California Institute of Arts—in their reference to mass-circulated images, Collier's photographs differ in their treatment of their subjects more as still lifes than appropriated images.Read More
In the ongoing photographic series 'Woman with a Camera', which began in 2006, Anne Collier collects vintage magazines, posters, record albums, and advertisements, among others, and rephotographs them against a neutral, often white, background. A common denominator in this collection is that the images depict women posing with cameras as if they were photographers.
The women in 'Woman with a Camera' appear confident or absorbed in their cameras, although Collier reveals that such scenes were staged by professional, often male, photographers, with the device as a prop. These include Woman With a Camera (Cheryl Tiegs/Olympus 2) (2008), showing the American model with her manicured hands around an Olympus camera, and Woman with a Camera (The Last Sitting, Bert Stern) (2009), a photograph of a spread in Stern's book about Marilyn Monroe's final photo session with him before her death.
In 2017, Collier's collection of 80 found amateur photographs of women with cameras were published as the book Women with Cameras (Anonymous).
Since the 2010s, Anne Collier has also photographed images sourced from vintage album covers and comic strips that close in on women's crying faces. In works such as Filter # 3 (Blue) (2020) and Woman Crying #21 (2021), women's faces are reduced to portions, with the teardrops shining bright. By focusing on the tears, Collier highlights the emotional, hysterical woman, another trope in the history of the representation of women.