"Eve" -- Cristina Cardenas

Beautiful Deceptions

Curated by Poli Marichal

Sonya Fe, Candace Metzger, Deborah Kantner, Candice Lin, Barbara Carrasco,
Yolanda Gonzalez, Cristina Cardenas, Cidne Hart, Poli Marichal

Curator’s statement by Poli Marichal

“Sexual geography, our body image, alters our perception of the world.” Camille Paglia, Sexual Personae: The Cancelled Preface.

When Kathy Gallegos came with the idea of doing a show of erotica by women artists I accepted the challenge to explore a genre I was not that familiar with. The question she wanted us to explore was: What is erotic for women?
As the other women artists started delivering their work, I was surprised at the number of portraits or depictions of women and the few portrayals of men or even couples interacting, regardless of the sex. Is that because in our eminently male dominated society women are much more programmed to assume the role of the seen/desired object rather than that of the seer, even when they are the ones being the observers/interpreters? Is it because women find themselves more attractive/interesting than men visually? Or, is it because women address eroticism from a more personal, autobiographical point of view? Those are questions that this show leaves open to discussion.

However, what is intriguing about the works in Beautiful Deceptions is how what is hidden reveals as much as what is revealed. Women, in general, relate to eroticism in a more oblique way than men. Our take on sexuality is more layered and less linear. Our narrative deals with issues of desire and control, affirmation and self-examination rather than with raw, direct eroticism. Even though the male figure is mostly absent from the majority of the works, the artists in this show have depicted women who are reacting to their place and role in the world. In some cases, such as in Candice Lin’s delicate but darkly sexual and brooding work, she has created a world where women are recreating history by becoming avengers of past and/or present wrongs. In Sonya Fe’s confrontational work, women flaunt their sexuality with no qualms. What you see is exactly what you’ll get. Turning the mirror on herself, Barbara Carrasco decided to portray herself being desirable. Candace Metzger’s whimsical box dioramas of corsets address hidden, controlled desire and role-playing. Deborah Kantner’s photographs are a sensual, elegant celebration of the female form. So are Yolanda Gonzalez’s paintings, but in her work there is a naughty naiveté at play. Cristina Cárdenas’ and Poli Marichal’s paintings explore the archetypal couple. Cárdenas’ lovely iconic portraits play with the story of Adam and Eve. I decided to depict oneiric dreamscapes where sexual forces in nature lead in the erotic dance/voyage. We invite the viewer to participate in this sampling of women’s erotic fantasies and ruminations. Enjoy the show!

When: Opening Reception: Saturday, February 10, 2007 from 7-11 pm
Where: Avenue 50 Studio, Inc., 131 No. Avenue 50, Highland Park, CA 90042
Duration: February 10 through March 4, 2007