"Narratives" #2 is a collection of angst driven scenes in which women play the lead role! If there were one theme that would tie all five of these drawings together it would be to challenge the classic perception of women.
Kathy Weinberg’s "Black and White Study" starts things off in a quiet contemplative approach; a neutral figure (an artist’s wooden drawing mannequin) reaches towards its reflection; a Madonna-like figure, as if to verify the illusion that, in fact, the mannequin is more than just wood. Projections of light within this cozy room dominate the composition and create a small stage and the suggestion of a map complete with sailing ship. We now begin to question how far our lead character must travel in order to reveal her true self.
Jennifer Beinhacker’s “Engulfing” shifts the narrative abruptly, stylistically and thematically with her totemic renderings of figures begetting figures. Beinhacker, a self taught artist, has her composition anchored on the extreme right with a stack of vertically repeated “classically” rendered portrait profiles from which her black and red linear figures seem to branch off of. Intertwined, menacing, yet playful, they are dominated by a toothy truncated maidenhead, herself anchored to the portrait stack, who seems to be expressing or literally “expressing” from her mouth the main cluster of teeth clenching “screaming meanies”, while a smaller separate figure jabs its elongated arm back into the lower right, completing a satisfying compositional spiral.
“Cave” a collaboration between Kat Johnson and Kenny Cole seems to depict a headless reclining female, whose “literal” outline intersects the architectural outlines of a series of minarets and onion domes. Johnson created the outlines while Cole “filled” them in with his red and white schematic stripes and stalagmites/stalactites. The resulting image is a submerged rendering of a near invisible camouflaged female figure flanked left and right by distant figures silhouetted by the light at the end of the tunnel.
“Idol” is a screen print by Polish artist Aleksandra Waliszewska, known for her depictions of adolescent girls who are often battling their way through an array of science fiction goblins, animals and slug-like demons. These heroines seem to represent a larger vulnerability that we all have, whether we admit to it or not and express a greater empathetic vision. Here our heroine seems a bit triumphant. Despite being unclothed except for shoes and dwarfed by her animal friends, she is nonetheless unmolested and poised, her army of oversized cuddly creatures restrained behind her in some sylvan arena.
“Stage”, a collaboration between Alice Sfintesco of France and Kenny Cole, builds off of Sfintesco’s three repeated silhouettes of a female figure. Cole’s placement of a male figure seen from behind and collaged onto the lower left side of the composition establishes our perspective upon the male gaze. The silhouettes are empty outlines or empty canvases, which Sfintesco often fills in with one or two stylized pieces of anatomy. Culling from his stash of vintage newspapers, Cole pastes an array of additional parts and pieces; a magic wand, a player ready at bat, floating hands, sling shot and guns and various bearded and mustachioed heads fitted into missing anatomical place holders. Smoke and brimstone simmers around the edges of their lunar stage while a Victorian female in her puffed up shoulder dress looks away distracted and uninterested.