Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Artist HiIary Harkness: "The world is known in its detail"

NY artist Hilary Harkness creates narrative artwork which makes me want to write a story or ten. There's plenty to be seen in her Escher-like compositions heavily populated with female figures in all sorts of, um, questionable situations and activities.

Jerry Saltz, critic for The Village Voice, wrote about her figures, "Whatever they're involved in, they ooze a bitchy demonic kinkiness, which makes looking at these paintings slippery fun." (#)

Hilary Harkness has been criticized for her representation of women, however this 2004 interview illuminates her approach and viewpoint on the subject matter, composition, and style of her body of work.

"I use sex and power to pull the viewer in; from there, I explore the issues in more detail, sometimes in twists-and-turns and sometimes to the point of their own banality. I also think the manner in which I paint them is important: slow, small, detailed. This allows me to investigate these issues of sex and power in a more detailed, articulated, and maybe thoughtful manner. I hope to infuse these issues with meanings deeper and more idiosyncratic than typically found in the culture at large. I cannot separate how I paint from what I paint, the paintings are not just about one or the other, and hopefully the how and what contrast and combine in a way that creates something interesting, charged."

I would love to see Hilary Harkness' art in person and up close. Roq La Rue in 2009? (I'm dreaming, I know. )

Hilary Harkness is represented by Mary Boone Gallery in NYC, where you can find her work hanging through June 28th. Report back if you go!

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