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Oil painting of an 18th century ruff. Conceptual Expressionism, fashion history in art, garments as vessels of energy, concrete and the abstract unite in color

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Comment by Resident Curator on February 27, 2013 at 10:23am

Thanks for responding- I am intrigued by your work, as well as the potential of what you're addressing in this series. I do see the garments you're focusing on as a type of fetish as well. While historical, they manage a contemporary edge.

Comment by sam talbot-kelly on February 26, 2013 at 8:15pm

Thank you! Kristen, in answer to your wonder about these paintings I am curious about humans' relationship to clothes, between us and our wears there is poetry but poetry that is telling of identity...we can have a very  intimate relationship to our clothing yet it can carry all kinds of exterior personas.  I am wondering about the psychology behind garmentry ( such a word?) these images are human stand ins to convey energy, a confusing amass of consumption to turbulent elegance...possible? the inner and outer worlds can be so far apart when we think of ourselves and our clothes, sometimes conflicting, sometimes we are quietely powerful and stoic in our clothes, at times our attitudes and clothes harmonize sometimes we project aggression  and provocation in our clothing...ruffs and corsets are iconic, emblematic of status, sexuality and ideals of beauty...I am just examining this in a silent reverie...

Comment by Resident Curator on February 26, 2013 at 7:44pm

Curator’s Comment:


Ribbon candy meets ornament of the Golden Age in Ruff Connection.  This is a fabulous work, expressive and haughty, exuding confidence in a smart, but lighthearted tongue in cheek manner. The graphic rainbow abstraction of the interior “tubes” is fluid and engaging, while the more tactile exterior surface of the form provides a rough visual contrast.  The strong directional horizontal arc of the collar reads as simulated landscape and container, and moves the viewer vertically as well as horizontally in the picture plane.  The more solidly opaque blue background, while gradated in chroma, provides a necessary blank ground for the fanciful activity of the positive space.  Highly original in the blend of abstraction and historical homage, I’m wondering about what inspired the series, and evolution of the subject. I appreciate your reference to a vessel of energy, and can see the push and pull created through swings of color temperature and animated line. Ruff Flavor is also an exciting piece- further anthropomorphized by the section of mannequin supporting the enormous collar.  The tiny methodical dot pattern is a wonderful technical foil to the exaggerated garment proportions and flat diamond textile pattern.  The overall organic nature of the ruff in contrast to the surrounding forms makes one contemplate bird plumage in a more artificial or contrived space. Essentially headless, the “figure” that isn’t actually present is the painting is implied through constructed accoutrements.  I also like that the deeper reddish pink ring in the center area radiates out to feathery pink tints and orange tints. The fleshy coloration brings other sensual connections closer to the forefront, while below the surface. Femininity and control seems just out of reach.

Resident Curator Views

Ms Kristen T. Woodward critiques of members art.


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