Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Let's start the new year off with a bang

Happy New Year, everybody!

Hope you all have sobered up and are ready for another year with The Musings.

Just got back from a fantastic, but quick, trip to Philadelphia.

More on that later-- I have a great exhibit coming up for your perusal from Larry Becker Contemporary Art.

But first, a quick spotlight on an artist I met at SVA's recent MFA Open Studios.

Her name is unforgettable-- Sarah Ferguson-- and her work as well.

Though she has immediate identification with British royalty, she instead spotlights our own royalty of American politics, the Queen herself, Hillary Clinton.

Imagining and juxtaposing herself into "photo-ops" with Hillary-- whether that of advisor, trusted confidante, or loyal friend-- Ferguson's work is not to be missed.

I love the humor in this-- the imaginative quality.

All of us at one time or another wishes we could have the ear of those in power, just to give them our own two cents' worth.

What also strikes me about Ferguson's work is her great ability to document the humanity behind the public image.

In the case of Hillary, far too often what we see so often is a manufactured being; stripped of her own femininity, and pandering to the lowest common denominator-- the "American voter."

But what Ferguson gets at is raw vulnerability through her paintings.

You can see the pain of a life lived-- and lived in its fullest, with emotional pain and baggage hidden and underscored by a brilliant mind, wrapped in powerhouse packaging.

In the nude at left, Ferguson imagined Hillary's makeup from pieces of different women's bodies.

After all, what Hillary represents at this time in history is is an amalgamation of the "American Woman."

Interestingly enough, if Hillary Clinton wasn't "Hillary Clinton," wouldn't the momentus occasion of a woman running for President be received quite differently?

Ferguson will soon have her Master's from one of our nation's top MFA programs.

I dare any gallery not to consider her work for its timeliness, its stunningly creative humor, and emotionally dark underpinnings.

Great one to watch in the year ahead.

Check out her blog at http://hillaryrealandimagined.blogspot.com/ and her Flickr page to see more great examples of her "photo ops" collection.


Wishing all my readers the best in the coming year,


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