It is no secret that looking at art is my favorite activity, and the last time I walked into a gallery or museum was in February. Yesterday with my N95 mask snuggly in place I went into a gallery, and what a thrill it was.
Humaira Abid is a contemporary artist who was born in Pakistan. Abid “picks up ordinary images from ordinary life and makes them extraordinary. Her basic interest is situations in ‘relationships’ and their after effects.” (www.humaira.com.pk)
I first saw Hamaira Abid’s work at a show in 2011. I have seen her work many times since, and always marvel at her talent.
Sacred Games, the title of this show, “refers to Abid’s interest in and concern with the way religion can be distorted by those in power to oppress the most vulnerable members of our society.” (Greg Kucera Gallery)
“The customs and ceremonies may be different, but vulnerable people are abused and mistreated everywhere. All societies have extremists who twist religion as well as other social institutions and use it to their own benefit, to oppress women, vulnerable and defenseless people.” “I deeply believe that a work of art should have a purpose. As an artist, I have a responsibility to educate the society in which I live, and to be a voice. This has been the main purpose of my work and always will be.” (Humaira Abid)
I met Anthony White a few years ago at his first solo show at Greg Kucera Gallery. Yesterday he gave another talk about his new body of work, at his second sold out before the show opened exhibition, Looking Glass. There were ten pieces in the show, and the three shown below are the ones I liked the most.
Looking Glass refers to the ubiquitous smartphone forever chronicling our lives, presenting our curated, idealized selves to the world. “Painted” on wood panels with a plastic material called polylactic acid (PLA) the resulting works are familiar representations of manipulated and glamorized portraits, consumerism, and brash, instagram-style images as viewed through the lens of an iPhone.” (Greg Kucera Gallery, Inc.)
My favorite story about Anthony is that he wanted a tattoo gun when he was a teenager. His parents gifted him one at the age of 15 and his father let him practice on him. I got a chance to talk to his parents at his first exhibition. They were beaming with pride, and his dad’s arms were full of gorgeous tattoos. He obviously knew his boy could really draw. The work in person is stunning, as the PLA process adds incredible dimension.