Art is the act of seeing. True artists are able to make their internal perception into an external reality and vision for the viewer. Somehow, an artist sees something that everyone else has overlooked, whether it be in a color, fabric, concept, or an action– and then make that thing visible to everyone else through their work. Seeing then becomes believing.
This past Thursday Beth and I attended two art-related events. The first one was the launch party for the September edition of the North Shore art magazine, Art Throb. Each month they have a launch party somewhere different, and this month it was in a gallery at the Monserrat College of Art, in Beverly, where they also had this exhibition going on:
So, when we went to the Art Throb launch party and were confronted with in-your-face billboards and other “advertisements” by the Guerrilla Girls at first we were unsure of what we were seeing (besides blatantly ‘feminist’ art). And then we began to see a little bit of what the Guerrilla Girls wanted us to see – that most of the artists we know and love and who are most often lauded and celebrated– are predominantly men. How many male artists can you name off the top of your head? How many female artists?
And so, you begin to wonder about the unspoken “rules” of art (female nudes are “superior” to male nudes, etc), and the kinds of conditions that have been created to make it easier for men to succeed in the art world.
So you start to wonder, and question, and you start to change your idea of whether you know anything truly about art or seeing.
Then, we left the Gorilla Girls exhibit and went to the opening of an exhibit of…two women artists! Maybe times are changing after all?
We loved seeing the works displayed at the Porter Mills Gallery. The work of Lynda Schlosberg was the echo of many things – microscope slides of blood cells, topographical maps, weather patterns, underwater worlds magnified.
As for Mary O’Malley’s rich geometric designs, Beth felt they made us feel elegant, like being in a foreign place, whisked away from work, and transported somewhere decadent. I felt a sense of religious devotion in her lines, of sacred patterns, similar to illuminated manuscripts,
Both the Guerilla Girls, and the women artists of Spontaneous Order help us see reality in a slightly different way. The first through bold statements and images, the second through subtle colors and attention to detail. It makes us proud that Linda Schlosberg and Mary O’Malley, in their own way are challenging the very stereotypes the Guerilla Girls have been seeking to break for many years. Now I wonder when we will see one of them in a museum?
— Madelene Pario (with Beth Melillo)