Thursday, August 30, 2012

In The Pink @ Joe Sheftel

So I like Art Fag City, they write good stuff, and of late, I have been enjoying the Joe Sheftel Gallery, where I arrived 5 min early at the opening for In The Pink, to find the door locked and what appeared to be an install going on. I didn’t think much of it until I read this in Art Fag City ( Apparently Kathryn Garcia’s piece Carla O. Lisk (which, as the headline suggest, looks like a Cubist version of a Girl With a Dildo) was removed from the first floor of the gallery over the wishes of curator Sarvia Jasso and placed in the more secluded upstairs over the wishes of the curator. The implication being that the move was motivated by the content of the piece and / or the male gallerists’ disregard of the female curator.

Now having no horse in the race, I’d like to make a few points. First, on the ground floor, there is a rather realistic and pornographic (in the best sense of the word) drawing by Betty Tompkins of a woman being penetrated with three fingers and simultaneously by another two, so by any standard the Cubist abstract drawing of a woman and her dildo is hardly the most controversial piece in the show. Two, the show is a tad uneven, and I think it’s fair to point out that the almost jokey Cubist drawing of a woman with her dildo is more than fair game for being bumped to a less visible location. But then again, they did leave Betty Tompkins rather pedestrian pile of realist limbs facing out the front window, while putting Cindy Hinant’s wonderful washed-out pink nudes off to the side, so who knows? I think it is fair to say that a gallery director and a curator butting heads, even up to the last minute, isn’t unusual, and a gallery director pulling rank is no more an expression of gender power dynamics as than of basic institutional hierarchy.

But either way, I enjoyed the show.

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