A red monochromatic reproduction of a painting by Italian Baroque artist Artemisia Gentileschi fills most of the space. In the original, which illustrates an apocryphal biblical tale, Jewish queen Judith and her assistant have beheaded Holofernes, an enemy of her people, but in this painting, a symbol for patriarchy. Inset pictures comment on the meaning in ambiguous ways.
Three images are metaphors that combine to comment on some of the “mechanisms” that make sexual politics function in our society. As in the other paintings, women are shown as a presence; men are only alluded to. Male and female energy turn the gears (a well-lubricated machine); take out one part and the machine stops turning.
A 19th century painting by French artist Jean-Auguste-Dominque Ingres provides a figure and setting, but the young aristocratic woman in the original (seen in reflection in mirror), is replaced or ‘cancelled’ by a modern young woman wearing the accoutrements of technology. The painting is “constructed,” as alluded to by the cranes at left. Past and present collide.
A woman attempts to hold back a “flood” of male sexual energy. To the right, stereotypes of men and their supposed power and independence are shown by the chess ‘king’ and motorcyclist.
A jet above and a pageant princess below, two metaphors for exaggerated male and female ideas. Both possess a certain energy and charisma.
Ways of Knowing
An astronomer peers through a large telescope, looking upward to the heavens.
A woman immersed in water finds her self in bodily experience. The buddha represents the inward, spiritual search for knowledge.
These paintings and more may be viewed at Walker Fine Art gallery in Denver, CO through May 14, 2016.