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about His + Hers

:: His + Hers

A show about my grandparents

My grandfather passed away in July 2006. My grandmother in October of 2008. Apart from my parents no 2 people had a more profound influence on me growing up. Their personalities, quirks, likes, dislikes were woven into my life in such a seamless way. In many ways I owe my artwork to them. My grandmother as she taught me how to crochet and knit and was an avid embroiderer. My grandfather as he taught me to love tools and how to take things part. Both of them taught me to be curious and work hard [traits that serve artmaking well].

One of the functions of making art for me is acknowledging the past – connecting with and seeking to understand the nostalgic. I also often look to the “mundane” and the “domestic” - searching for small moments and objects that ultimately signify something greater than what they appear to be. I am also keenly interested in gender – what signifies and constitutes something as masculine or feminine? In rendering objects that may be seen as “male” or “female” can I alter or emphasize the perception, or can I create some sort of hybrid take on them as objects?

In my work I often leave long threads dangling – to me these threads emphasize the physicality and “drawing” nature of the work [they also pull the work away from “straight” embroidery]. The threads elude to time passing. In some instances they begin to hint at decay, things fraying and pulling at the seams. In my mind our memories start to have dangling threads as time passes – things are not as clear – they become fuzzy... The threads become longer. In other instances the thread highlights connections – moments where similarities are shared. And for me ultimately thread is a drawing device – like a pencil or pen – the thread simply has a different historical reference point than charcoal or ink. [The connotations of “women’s work” and “craft” are also things that intrigue me].

These pieces are about what I remember as a child with my grandparents. What they wore, what they drove, what they played, where cancer invaded their lungs. Although they are in essence highly personal there is, I hope, intrinsically a universality to them as well. I’m sure there are people who have their own memories or associations with whisks, pliers, track suits, and American Matzo. These are just pieces of his and her story.