Friday, July 20, 2018

Mary Janes

Thought Blizzard, 4x3x3 in., found figurine, linen thread - 2018

I have a new body of work that is presently exhibiting in the window at Boston Sculptors Gallery. They were created during the oppressive weather of this past March. My first born, Thought Blizzard, carefully captures my feelings of the day. 

I didn't realize how resonant these pieces would end up being for me. As usual, I work from instinct and these small sculptures materialized much faster than my words could keep up. Here's an attempt to capture who they are.

The Red Shoes

Caroline is a Work in Progress,
7.5x5x5 in., found figurine, asstd fibers - 2018

Mary Janes sculptures are inspired by the cultural pressures felt by many but particularly women whose stifling restrictions permeate into all the physical spaces of their world. Girls are coached to accommodate and impress; and domesticity is valued as moral character where impeccably constructed appearances fall within the limits of acceptable behavior.

I find my muses while trolling flea markets. Little girls sporting their Mary Jane shoes and women postured in proper dress. Most of these figures were manufactured mid 20th century during a wave of repressive sexist culture that seems to be rebounding today. 

All are tightly bound with yarn around the head and torso, masking identities and with hands breaking out of the fray. The threads form symmetrical global shapes resembling yarn balls, a common domestic symbol. The figures are playful yet quietly disturbing with their ambiguous and still stances. 

Are they retreating?  Are they pushing back?  Or are they stuck in a state of paralysis? It kind of feels like all of the above.

Primped, 13x8x8.5 in.,
found figure, assorted threads - 2018

Skirting the Issue, 6x4x4 in., 2018

              ...Then again, maybe their sentiments may be more universal than this. Dissolution of the EPA and civil rights policies, separation of families, treason, lack of truths and the irrational environment of hate that is swirling around. It's enough to have you take refuge in your own alternate universe right?  Make sure to keep your hands free, so we know that you're here, and can help you unravel if we ever get out of this mess.

They have been very popular and a couple have disappeared to new homes already. Please come and take a look! Check the website for the collection to date.

Also, it's a great  time to visit the gallery and see the Breath + Matter exhibition with 24 collaborations between sculptors and poets. Click here to read more about my collaboration with Wendy Drexler.

Window gallery at Boston Sculptors Gallery where some of my Mary Janes are currently residing. From L to R: Mary Janes (I&II), Caroline is a Work in Progress, Shhhhh, Reaching Equilibrium. Visit my site for more info.

1 comment:

  1. This is so interesting! I love it when I see such pieces that portray emotions. They all have a meaning behind and which is what attracts me a lot. I am also going to attend an exhibition happening in one of the biggest LA event venues and I am surely going to shop a lot from there.