Saturday, March 16, 2013

Langurs, Maps, The Female Gaze and Excuses..

I am the lamest blogger ever. I've been doing exciting things, though, and I'm going to try to get back to this more regularly. Today I went to go see The Female Gaze: Women Artists Making Their World show at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. It's an incredibly lush, wonderfully varied show, and it's full of people I've never heard of who are making knockout work, as well as great pieces from the great old standards. There are several really incredible Judith Scheacter pieces, but that's just a fraction of what there is- there are so many great paintings and prints in this show that I can't begin to talk about them all. Just go see it. It's great. It was curated by the amazing Robert Cozzolino, who is one of the few men I'd trust to curate a show with this title. The work is so varied that the "Female Gaze" part seems ironic almost immediately, but as you move through the show it contradicts that feeling of irony because the work does address themes that are particularly relevant to women artists. It's a rich world in there, and the number of people who obviously should be getting more attention than they've gotten is huge.

There's also a fabulous painting by Patricia Traub called "A Steward of the Douc Langur." I can't find an image of it online, but her website has lots of great stuff including this one, The Caregivers, which shows a langur on the right side.

Patricia Traub teaches at PAFA, as does Judith Schaecter, but I've never met her. Philadelphia is small enough that this seems odd to me, especially because I am absolutely sure I've met the douc langur that's in the painting. His name, I think, is Duke, and he lives at the Philadelphia zoo, where he seduces every single person who looks at him with his beautiful languid langur eyes. Or, well, maybe all douc langurs do that. Could be.

This piece below is based on a map called The Map of Tenderness that you can read more about in this excellent article in the Atlantic about mapping the self. It's got a ton of fabulous images of old weird maps of unmappable things, which I always love.

PAFA has a pretty good website filled with images from the show, but I think we all need to get the catalog. There was so much great stuff that I was running around the show with my camera, taking pictures of work I loved and names I wanted to find out more about. All of which I want to write about...but this is why I don't blog regularly. I'm too complete. I want to put in all the details of everything, just like I do in my paintings, and I don't have the time to do that in more than one medium. So let me just say- go see the show!

Also, my last post was written just before I went out to Firecat Projects to hang my show last summer. It was a wonderful show. Stan Klein, who runs the gallery with the help of his dog crew Ella, Bella and the Other Fella, is a wonderful, generous guy, and the whole trip was incredibly inspiring and nice. My show was sponsored by a very shy, sweet art supporter named Stewart Wagner, and everyone I met at Firecat was amazing and delightful. The  Chicago art scene- at least the art scene at Firecat, seemed extraordinarily supportive. I met so many people I'd love to see more of, and I reconnected with people I hadn't seen in ages who made me think that if I do nothing else well in life I'm at least good at picking excellent friends.

I've made some new pieces that I will post soon. I'm making breakthroughs in the studio that I'm really excited about, which is part of why I haven't stopped to blog, but I will be posting those new images any minute now...I'm working bigger, better and stripey-er than ever before...