Your mother may have told you that some things are best kept to yourself. This show is all those things thrown, splashed, carved, stabbed, and affixed to canvas for your perusal. Abiding love may seem, at first, like a pleasant, enduring romance. But the true meaning of abide shines through as these works take dark turns and explore anger, violence, and pain in love. Inspired by personal experience, this intellectually stimulating, emotionally evocative, and sexually explorative show displays the ups, downs, lefts, and rights of love, sex, and heartbreak.
Hover over images to see title and description.
Infatuation steps into the limelight in the early phases of a relationship, when love has not yet replaced obsession. This cupid’s heart, pierced with a treasured lock of hair and sealed not with a kiss, but with blood red wax, sounds the alarm for stalker potential. On the back of the heart is a handwritten note that reads: “I am sorry to hear this news.” When presented as a small gift, this tiny piece could suggest drastic measures (if the news hints at a break up) or unceasing attention (if the news implies pain or need). Infatuation leaves the viewer a little unsettled, but this tiny present brings to light an important form of love that is commonly overlooked.
The dirty act in one small canvas, Fuckery excites and entertains. Begin the night at the focal pink flower. Adorn yourself with chains and stones. Then roll the dice and let the time fly! The acorn, smooth and hard, the soft tickle of the feather, the rough and complicated wooden bead all await you in this naughty endeavor.
MWW is a dream-like reflection on the intimate relations of man, woman, and woman. The evening features tea, flowers, dim lights, and chains. And of course we find the archetype of self-discovery and recognition, a mirror on the wall, beckoning the participants to satisfy that deep human urge to find one’s identity and maintain it. In any act of intimacy, knowing oneself is necessary and losing oneself is a risk.
The artist leaves a note in the top left corner: “All the lovely things I want for you…” This detailed reminiscence, this beautiful memory is wished upon a lucky lover time and time again, under each set of coarse white bed sheets. An unabashedly erotic, playfully symbolic look at a menage a trois, MWW slowly yields itself to the persistent viewer.
Secret Vibrations is a prolonged period of loneliness leading to hidden mischief. Two sheets of paper make up the canvas of this piece. Between those two sheets, when the top layer is ripped away, we find secret vibrations and a soft, tantalizing feather. Delicate flowers cover the evidence of quiet and discreet personal pleasure but an unmistakable explosion gives away the person “behind the wall.” When closed, this piece shows all this mischief packaged as a gift and presented, broken, to the recipient as a definitive “fuck you.”
Sometimes love takes a turn for the worse. Heartbreak violently portrays the pain and frustration of that human moment of lost love and loneliness. Strawberries remind of the decadence of dipping chocolate, but the chocolate is missing. The thin, delicate slice of the fruit, as it dries, feels like the touch of skin that one so craves in those times. Red tea (blood or tears?) cascades down the work and pools at the bottom but doesn’t drip off, just as painful memories can linger far longer than one might like. The hole left over from a stab wound rests, unhealed, on the right side and hints at the long-lasting scars of a broken heart. In the bottom right, a miniature, faceless self-portrait reveals the artist’s feelings of rejection and longing, with earnest, pleading hands. A stark portrayal of devastation and agony, Heartbreak pulls at the heart of even the strongest viewer.
Here the missing chocolate from Hearbreak resides, but not as a delicacy. Sharp shards of chocolate carve out jagged claw marks in this canvas and red tea is splattered violently. Some spots show tea bags left to dwell in single spots for hours, neglected. A single strawberry, with its suggestive shape and tuft of leaves, gives the piece a feminine identity. The accompanying text states “you let me claw myself” and subtly asks “how could you?" Claw is an intense moment of anger so blinding that self-inflicted pain can no longer be felt.
Lolita begins as a dainty little country girl with a vicious secret. Done up in floral patterns, buttons and bows, we are welcomed by her cute, delicate appeal and innocent pastel wash. It comes as a great surprise then to find below her twirling skirts an explosive surprise. The femininely contoured sea urchin, pierced by spikes, lashes out at the viewer, shouting, when one gets too close, “Piss off!” Notions of impropriety precede promiscuity, and the viewer feels stirs of temptation but remains wary. Lolita shifts the reality of womanhood in sex and leaves the viewer intentionally uncomfortable.
Lolita, light of my life, fire of my loins. My sin, my soul. Lo-lee-ta: the tip of the tongue taking a trip of three steps down the palate to tap, at three, on the teeth. Lo. Lee. Ta.
Walnut on Cherry
In contrast to Lolita, Walnut on Cherry presents a tired look at the masculine form. We can see the result of many years of effort (and tears) thrown into repeated attempts to affect change. Gratification is obtained as the bacon is burnt and the hardwood is softened. The cascading tears of multiple tea bags drip down and change the composition of the wood and the man. The male figure, striking a pose in a girlish curtsy and dripping with splashes of wine, seems to be making an effort, but has still not made those begged for changes at his core.
But I love you...
But I love you... finds that moment of pain and silence in every brutal fight. This piece features a floral centerpiece comprised of falling petals and splashes of red wine. The delicate scene is interrupted by the sharp stab of a broken plate. Love and tenderness are cut to the bone when the right words are thrown like daggers. Like the shocked-silent reaction to a dropped plate as it shatters, those stabbing words create a brief void, filled after a moment when these words softly surface: “But I love you…”