Kate Kretz, Lie Hole
Title Lie Hole
Medium Prismacolor Pencil on black Rives BFK paper
Dimensions 10” x 8”
Creating the Lie Hole series of drawings helped me retain my sanity through 2017. I would not normally be interested in making work that is so nailed down to a specific person, but, this time, I couldn't help myself. I was compelled to draw our new leader’s mouth: swollen with self importance, and hyper-articulated in 12 different ways. An orifice, disembodied… from truth, from decency, from potential consequences. A slimy, aggressive tongue that has forced open countless lips, slithering out of a throat that reeks from decades of undigested beef. A blustering, bragging hole, spouting ignorance, inciting violence, spinning cons, and debasing our country.
Maria Elena Buszek Responds
Kate Kretz has spoken of her creative process as “exorcism through creation,” and few works in her oeuvre reflect this better than her Lie Hole series. While Kretz has taken on the visage of our 45th president before, these stripped-down, but instantly recognizable drawings of only his mouth—distorted into the made-for-TV scowls, snarls, and shouts one recognizes from his every media appearance—have the powerful effect of isolating and disempowering the messages they convey. Floating in a void like the spluttering, raging mouth on stage in Samuel Beckett’s play Not I, Kretz too presents what Beckett called "an organ of emission, without intellect." But the painstaking craft that is visible in each work, created mark by meticulous mark in prismacolor pencil against deep black paper, represents not only her critique of, but a cathartic violence to this disembodied gob and what it represents. As one imagines her laying down each focused slash of color, it’s hard not to think of Kretz conjuring a kind of feminist witchcraft on her subject—each mark a pin to prick, a prayer to protect against, a promise to resist each awful “emission.”
Kate Kretz, Silver Spring, Maryland
Kate Kretz earned a Cours De La Civilisation Francaise certificate at The Sorbonne, and a BFA at SUNY Binghamton, garnering the SUNY Foundation Award for Excellence in the Fine Arts, Harpur College Departmental Honors in Art, and Harpur College Academic Honors. She earned her MFA from the University of Georgia with a university-wide assistantship. Exhibitions include the Museum of Arts & Design in New York, Van Gijn Museum in The Netherlands, Kunstraum Kreuzberg in Berlin, Wignall Museum, Katonah Museum, Frost Museum, Fort Collins MOCA, San Jose Museum of Textiles, Racine Museum of Art, Telfair Museum, Fort Lauderdale Museum, Tsinghua University in Beijing, and the Museo Medici in Italy. She has received the NC Arts Council Grant, The South Florida Cultural Consortium Fellowship, Florida Visual Arts Fellowship, and a Millay Colony Residency. She recently received the SECAC award for Outstanding Artistic Achievement, and is on the Fulbright Specialist Roster until 2021. After working as an Associate Professor and BFA Director at Florida International University for ten years, she relocated to the Washington, DC, area. Kretz currently works in her studio while teaching part-time, giving workshops and lectures at various universities. She is a frequent contributor to Hyperallergic magazine.
Maria Elena Buszek, Denver, Colorado
Maria Elena Buszek is associate professor of art history at the University of Colorado, Denver, where she teaches courses on Modern and contemporary art. Her recent publications include the books Pin-Up Grrrls: Feminism, Sexuality, Popular Culture (Duke University Press, 2006) and Extra/Ordinary: Craft and Contemporary Art (Duke, 2011); contributions to the exhibition catalogues Mark Mothersbaugh: Myopia, and In Wonderland: The Surrealist Adventures of Women Artists in Mexico and the United States; and articles in Art Journal and TDR: The Journal of Performance Studies. Dr. Buszek has been a regular contributor to the popular feminist magazine Bust since 1999, and, with Kirsty Robertson, recently edited a special issue of Utopian Studies on the subject of “craftivism.” Her current book project explores the ties between feminist art and popular music since 1977.
Indira Cezarine, EQUAL MEANS EQUAL
Title EQUALMEANS EQUAL
Medium Neon Sculpture
Dimensions 11” x 14” x 3”
Empowering feminist themes are often a point of departure for my multi-sensory series, which challenge the status quo and shed light on oppressive narratives. This is a crucial time in history to stand up against discrimination, sexism and abuse of power. We must fight for our future. My neon light sculpture, EQUAL MEANS EQUAL, created in 2018, emphasizes the importance of equal rights for all humans, regardless of gender, which should be guaranteed in our constitution. Enough is enough. It is time for discrimination and the abuse of power to end.
Susan Kirschbaum Responds
In this Club called Life,
She lit up
Those blue eyes made her
To Fuck Him,
Or even others,
An exploratory bright light
Where just like a man
She could Fuck whom she pleased
She could opt for the blue blanket
In lieu of the pink, which signaled the submission of
Little pink slippers, to walk silently
Pink pursed lips, to speak only when spoken to
Little pink bows, to tie up loose hairs,
While holding pink pom-poms to cheer on the men
The men who liked to Fuck
Or (just) to Breathe,
So free for men
Came with a price for a gal
She can only be paid her sum of what’s fair,
Not fair in numbers, but as fair as they find her
These men in blue
Blue balls, when she refused them,
Sometimes she did
Men in pink ceased to be seen
As virile; confident; worthy of male
A solicitous shade,
Mixing red and white,
The whore and the virgin,
His arrow points upwards,
While Female drops her cross
A burden to bear
In utero and beyond
Time to Break Free.
Indira Cesarine, New York, New York
Indira Cesarine is a multimedia artist who works with photography, video, painting, printmaking and sculpture. A graduate of Columbia University with a triple major in Art History, French and Women’s Studies, she additionally studied art and photography at Parson’s School of Design, International Center of Photography, School of Visual Arts, The Art Students League and the New York Academy of Art. Cesarine had her first solo show at the age of sixteen at Paul Mellon Arts Center. Her work as an artist has been featured internationally at many art galleries, museums and festivals, including The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Mattatuck Museum, CICA Museum, San Luis Obispo Museum of Art, Getty Images Gallery, French Embassy Cultural Center, Art Basel Miami, Cannes Film Festival and the International Festival Photo Mode to name a few. In 2014, her public art sculpture, “The Egg of Light” was exhibited at Rockefeller Center as part of the Fabergé Big Egg Hunt. Her work was auctioned at Sotheby’s New York for the annual “Take Home A Nude” art benefits in 2017 and 2018, and was featured at SCOPE Art Basel (Switzerland) in 2018.
Susan Kirschbaum, New York, New York
Susan Kirschbaum is an author; poet; and former journalist whose articles have been published in myriad publications including the New York Times. Her debut satirical novel Who Town -- about five 'it kids'/media darlings -- has become a local cult hit. She is now developing it for television. Kirschbaum has hosted and curated story telling salons. She was selected to perform her poetry in a program called "The Poetry Experiment: the Future is Female" at La Mama Theatre in 2017.
Mira Schor, Justice Bleeding Out
Title Justice Bleeding Out
Medium oil, ink & gesso on canvas
Dimension 24” x 18” x 1.5”
A day in the studio begins with the instantaneity of response to that day's repellent news, which I can articulate very freely in ink and gouache on paper. The paintings fix and develop some of these moments, enact a scenario, concentrate the rage into as intense a frame as possible. Their surface is a viscous slurry of black oil paint. The blackness is not just spiritual and political darkness. It also represents the way in which, in such a moment, space itself is solid and fights you as you try to move forward, impinges on your freedom. This painting was begun June 30, 2018, three days after Justice Anthony Kennedy announced his resignation from the Supreme Court, at the same time as attention to the fate of small children ripped from their parents by trump and sessions' "zero tolerance" immigration policy came into sharp focus. The open book has been an important image, form, and metaphor in my work since the 1970's, as an object of wonder, a layered space of knowledge, and as a symbol of women as being filled with language. In this painting the book of law is turned on its side and "Justice bleeds out." The painting was completed July 4th, 2018.
Mira Schor, New York, New York
Mira Schor is a painter and writer based in New York. Schor has been the recipient of awards in painting from the Guggenheim, Rockefeller, Marie Walsh Sharpe, and Pollock-Krasner Foundations, as well as the College Art Association's Frank Jewett Mather Award for Art Criticism, a Creative Capital / Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Grant for her blog A Year of Positive Thinking. She is the author of Wet: On Painting, Feminism, and Art Culture and A Decade of Negative Thinking: Essays on Art, Politics, and Daily Life, and co-editor of the journal M/E/A/N/I/N/G. She is Associate Teaching Professor at Parsons Fine Arts. Schor was elected to the National Academy of Design in 2017 and received a 2019 Lifetime Achievement Award from the Women’s Caucus for the Arts. She is represented by Lyles & King Gallery in New York.
Peggy Phelan Responds
In Mira Schor’s remarkable 2018 painting, Justice Bleeding Out ,
heavy black oil depicts the Book of Law lying on its side. As if
punctured, the word Justice, washed in red, seeps out of the book
and bleeds into the bottom of the painting’s support. Viewers must
tilt their heads to grasp Schor’s urgent message: justice itself may
soon be illegible, irretrievably lost. Justice Bleeding Out calls our
attention to the new fragility of post-Enlightenment categories of
human polity: liberty, justice, and human rights.
Amid the strange tilt-a-whirl of our current political scene, meaning
itself is becoming untethered from the wisdom of the book. An
homage to books both ancient and modern, sacred and secular,
Justice Bleeding Out recognizes that the book helps keep truth
vital. Functioning in the manner of an SOS, Schor’s painting
depicts Justice as a body in danger of dying. The looping cursive
of the word falling across the canvas calls to mind the emptying
out of a box of cracker jacks, or the fading notes of a musical
score. The dramatic seeping away of justice is staged against the
darkness of most of the canvas, begging us to attend to its faint,
but still discernible, pulse.
Peggy Phelan, Palo Alto, California
Peggy Phelan is a Professor at Stanford University. She writes frequently about
contemporary art, feminism, and performance. Her most recent book, with Richard Meyer, is Contact Warhol: Photography Without End (MIT Press and CAntor Arts Center, 2018).
Judy Shintani, Pledge Allegiance
Title Pledge Allegiance
Medium Repurposed wood, barbed wire
Dimension 24” x 48” x12”
I am an interdisciplinary artist exploring the intersections of culture and history through making installations and assemblages. Top of mind to me is how the past repeats itself. I am connected to a collective of those who have experienced trauma by being “the other” throughout history and into present time. My art making allows me to explore different shades of humanity, creating contemplative work for the public to experience, learn, and dialog about American history that is often not discussed.
This weathered American flag is created from remains of a dilapidated barrack, gathered with my father during a pilgrimage to the Tule Lake Segregation Camp. How did my grandparents and father and siblings survive imprisonment and then come out into a world that did not want them to move back to their home and livelihood in the Pacific Northwest?
As a descendant of an incarceree I was raised to not make waves, to be unseen, and a model American citizen who could never escape her appearance. It is my mission to illuminate this discrimination from 76 years ago and to see the parallels to what is happening today to Muslims, Mexicans, African Americans, immigrants, and refugees in America.
Judy Shintani, El Granada, California
Judy Shintani’s art focuses on remembrance, connection, and storytelling. She makes assemblages, produces installations, creates performances, and facilitates social engagement activities to generate visual stories that bring vital issues to light. She has exhibited in worldwide and was an artist in residence at Vermont Studio Center, Santa Fe Art Institute, Creativity Explored for Disabled Adults, and with ISKME’s Big Idea Fest. Shintani speaks about Asian American Art and historical trauma at venues including SF State, De Anza College, ArtXchange in Seattle, Center for Contemporary for Art Santa Fe, 516 Arts in Albuquerque, University of Pittsburgh, and Springfield College, MA. She founded the Kitsune Community Art Studio in Half Moon Bay and is a teaching artist at Creativity Explored for Disabled Adults and FootHill College, and has taught with the Institute on Aging. Shintani is a member of the Asian American Women’s Artist Association and on the board of the Northern California Women’s Caucus for Art. Judy has a Masters in Transformative Art from JFK University and a Bachelor’s of Science in Graphic Design from San Jose State University.
Emily Sano Responds
Shintani's flag of barbed wire and desiccated wood, made from scraps gathered at the former Tule Lake Internment Camp, reminds me of Poston, AZ, where my family was interned during WWII. The U.S. forcibly removed 160,000 people from their homes and property and confined them for several years in remote desolation. Yet, these Japanese-Americans endured their losses by building community gardens, sports teams, scout troops and schools, and even sent volunteers to fight with American troops in Europe. Generations later, as the internees integrated back into society, America has recognized the internment was shameful and wrong.
This flag is more than a reminder of a tarnished historical event. In a climate of social division, intolerance, violence and hate, it warns us that the unthinkable can happen again. Will those who promote fair play, racial equality, free speech, and ethical behavior become a marginalized group for whom our symbol of national unity feels like iron barbs in their skin and dust in their mouths? Shintani's flag protests those separatist leanings that undermine our sacred American values.
Emily Sano, San Antonio, Texas
I grew up in rural Arkansas, where families from the Poston Camp went to work after being released. In college, I took up Japan studies, and went to Japan in my Junior year. There, I was captivated by the beauty of Japanese art, and I was able to continue to graduate studies in that field. I was privileged to pursue curatorial work in Asian art at important museums. My major position was at the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco, where I became director, and moved the museum from Golden Gate Park to the Civic Center. After retiring, and moving to Texas, I have taken a position as a curator at the San Antonio Museum of Art.