Telling Stories About Your Work
My show, Rotten Little Fruits (with Philadelphia-based artist, Bonnie Staley!) opens this September 6th.
Anytime I have to sit down and write about my work for a show, it can be pretty brutal. The process usually involves having a mini existential crisis, checking my email for two hours, carefully examining the state of all my plants (they're alive), and then finally forcing myself to write.
One of my biggest complaints is when artists write about their work in a completely inaccessible way. I'll admit to you right now, I don't know what the hell most people are talking about in their artist statements. Writing about something in an opaque way not only makes the viewer feel like a dummy, but it's also a way of saying:
'Hey, I don't trust you to understand and value my work, so I'm going to try to protect myself with this lofty writing instead.'
I get it. I've done this myself. Writing about your work is hard. If it was easy to 'explain' your art, the art itself would likely not be that interesting.
But over the years I've found it way more helpful to just be honest about where I'm at, and what I actually understand about what I'm making.
So with that, I'm going to get real straight with you about where the title of my show Rotten Little Fruits comes from.
A 'rotten little fruit' is what my partner (jokingly) calls me when I'm being ultra sassy.
I kid you not.
I've always thought this was a great image. The analogy of women and fruit is always a strong one - fertility, virginity, ripeness, sweetness, something that is supposed to nourish. I like the visual of a rotten little fruit - of something that is sour, misshapen, shrinking but powerful, of an object doing something other than what it's supposed to do - be sweet, light, pleasurable, consumable.
My work for this show embraces that feeling - of a misshapen, 'misbehaving' body and finding in that otherness, a sense of power.
So, hell yes to being a misbehaved woman! I think it gets you answers. ⚡️
Join us for the opening:
Rotten Little Fruits
Christine Garvey + Bonnie Staley
Friday, Sept 9th, 7-10pm
MASS Gallery, Austin
on view from Sept 6th – October 19th.