January 26 – February 24, 2017
Creative Growth Art Center presents Gender Bender, an exhibition featuring work by artists exploring the myriad ways we define and question, relish and refuse, and perform and transcend gender norms.
Some artists at Creative Growth challenge the very notion that a body can be categorized at all whereas others deal with the signs and symbols associated with gender roles. Casey Byrnes creates ceramic sculptures of naked figures with certain body parts unabashedly elongated while Terri Bowden’s portraits of public figures are made ambiguous by the addition of blond hair and rosy red lips. Similarly dealing with gender and the body, Aurie Ramirez depicts disembodied hands and feet with black painted nails and laden with bold jewelry, revamping universal appendages into a question of gender specificity.
Also featured, John Hiltunen’s signature collages cut from fashion magazines combine flawlessly dressed models with incongruent landscapes and surprisingly well-suited animal heads; the gendered signals of fashion are at once made apparent and odd. Others, like John Martin’s graphic truck with bold type, Heather Edgar’s luscious make-up kit, and Juan Aguilera’s vibrant painting of underwear with female reproductive organs, illustrate how the objects we encounter in the everyday are often subtly infused with gendered ideas.
VIEWING ROOM: Ron Veasey Upstairs in the viewing room discover Ron Veasey’s large-scale portraits. Some regal and elegant while others feel eerie and ambiguous, these stylized portraits illustrate Veasey’s unique capacity to depict the subtleties of human expression with minimal visual information.
Exhibition Opening: THURSDAY January 26 MEMBERS’ PREVIEW: 11AM - 2PM MAIN EVENT: 5PM - 8PM LIVE MUSIC by CELLO JOE BAR + SNACKS
BY KELLY & CO. Season 201 Episode 032 | February 16, 2017
Kelly & Co. speaks with our Director, Tom di Maria, about Gender Bender. Listen to interview here.
BY PRISCILLA FRANK HuffingtonPost.com | Arts & Culture | February 9, 2017
In her 1940 “Self Portrait with Cropped Hair,” Frida Kahlo paints herself in a menswear suit, her long locks lopped off and scattered across the floor like strands of seaweed. In her hand she wields her scissors like a weapon, eyeing the viewer as if posing a challenge.
The portrait casts Kahlo as an artist twice over ― not only does she render her androgynous semblance in paint, but she also constructs her gender-fluid persona in real life, over and over again, with every flowing skirt, menswear suit, floral garland or untamed unibrow.
Kahlo is but one in a long line of artists who have used their bodies and their work as sites to exaggerate, manipulate and topple conventional associations of masculinity and femininity. An exhibition currently on view at Creative Growth, titled “Gender Bender,” features contemporary artists who complicate the gender binary through observation, creativity and play ― both on and off the canvas.