Burson's catalogued work can be divided into three distinct phases. Between 1979 and 1991 she created computer-generated images of fantastical faces: composites, aged portraits, and digitally manipulated facial anomalies. From 1991 to 1995 she made photographic portraits of what she calls "special faces," children and adults whose appearances have been altered by disease, nature, or circumstance. From 1996 to the present, she has been engaged in a range of projects that interlace her natural penchant for the fantastical, her paradoxical relationship with science, and an awareness of the spiritual connections between all living things. In each of these bodies of work, Burson has gone against the grain of technological change. Her early work with computers preceded her later "straight" photography, whereas many photographers have in recent years integrated the computer into their image-making process. Her current production combines these two strategies, with a twist.
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