I love that feeling of being completely stopped in my tracks by a work of art, and encountering something with the power to disrupt my life for a minute; to focus my consciousness in a new way. It happens so rarely, but thats what makes it so special. Art is nifty.
So I saw some of Ellen Gallagher’s art on display at the Ruth Chandler Williamson Gallery at Scripps College this past fall. The exhibit featured a number of contemporary women artists and their work in printmaking. There was an entire wall of Gallagher’s works, all framed in a grid, and it had a pretty profound impact on me. I came back to the exhibit several times just to stare at her prints and am totally kicking myself for not taking any pictures. This image from the MOMA’s website is pretty similar though, so you get the idea.
Anyway,these are really cool. They are bright and color blocked with pinks and yellows on newsprint. She uses a lot of different mediums at once and layers them in a really interesting way. Plus, the political message inherent in her work is really powerful. She uses vintage advertisements for beauty products geared towards black men and women, and subverts them with multimedia collage. I’m so glad I remembered this artist’s name, (not hard considering it’s the same as mine) and that I happened to find some of her work online. Ellen Gallagher’s prints embody all the things I love about art. They are aesthetically beautiful and really intellectually stimulating, without being overly complicated or pretentious. Plus I kind of love anything that appropriates vintage ads…
So incredible. That is all. Happy Holidays.