Thursday, September 12, 2013

Women Painting Women:(R)evolution, Self Portrait with Beard

Count down to Friday, Sept 20, 2013 opening at Principle Gallery, Alexandria, VA!

I'm so pleased that I have three paintings in this show. Here's the first one. (the other 2 will be in subsequent blog posts)

I've been journaling this idea for a while and trying to figure out a way to do it properly. It started with the oft repeated sentiment "It's man's world." When designing pieces for this show on the theme of Women Painting Women: (R)evolution I knew it was time to explore this concept.
Self Portrait with Beard, 20x16, oil on linen over panel

Click Read More below to see details of the painting and info about the show and monster press from all seven 2013 WPW shows.

I go incognito wearing Van Gogh’s beard and contemplate what it might mean to be a man. Sure it’s cheeky at first glance, but would life be different, or easier if I could grow a beard?
I tried out many different ways of wearing a beard. Self Portrait with Beard is a classic theme for artists through the centuries and I didn't want to be left out.
I've been playing with colored gel filters in my set up and knew that with the theatricality of the piece that this would be an appropriate use of of them. I mean, I'm wearing Van Gogh's beard, there's probably no going over the top at this point.
I had fun noticing and painting the way the blue gel filter changed the color of the red T-Shirt I was wearing, and the way it bounced around colored streaks of light in my hair.

I finished The Incognito Project, late 2012, in which I asked friends and family to share their alter-egos with me. I explored the idea that costumes can reveal or disguise a secret-self. The two year, 25 painting, portrait series culminated in The Incognito Project book and a 2012 exhibition in Birmingham, AL.

In making work for this WPW: (R)evolution exhibit, I realized the incognito theme is still on my mind and on the easel. These pieces are a mash-up of my thoughts about disguise and what it means to be a woman in a man’s world.

The show is getting AWESOME press:
Fine Art Connoisseur, Sept/Oct, 2013 issue. Author, Nancy Bea Miller writes Self Portrait with Beard  "is remarkable for addressing issues of sexual identity and aging in a direct yet playful manner."

(Nancy Bea Miller is author of Women in the Act of Painting Blog)

American Art Collector, Sept. 2013 issue, Richard J Demato Fine Art Ad, Sag Harbor, NY (details of this painting here)

Matter Deep Publishing has produced a catalog for the show:

Opening paragraph of the catalog essay by Tamera Lenz Muente, Curator of the Taft Museum in Ohio:

Objectified as an ideal subject, excluded from training at art academies, discouraged from becoming creators of art, underrepresented in art history books--these are just a few of the hurdles women artists have faced to different degrees throughout the history of art. One would think this is an archaic system. However, like in many other professional and social realms, women artists still face a multitude of challenges in their creative, professional, and personal lives.

Read the entire essay the catalog, $19.99 print, $5.99 digital or iPad, (Digital copy free with print version)
Women Painting Women: (R)evolution
Women Painting Women: (R)evolution, Principle Gallery, Exhibit Catalog. Sept 20-Oct 18, 2013
Find out more on MagCloud

My next post will highlight the rest of the great press and the other 2013 (R)evolution shows running concurrentlybut in the mean time here are a few links: the WPW press coverage thus far, the WPW fall shows preview on Underpaintings blog,  the Principle show on Underpaintings blog, the Haynes Galleries show on Underpaintings blog, and an insightful post from Ilaria Rosselli Del Turco's Blog.


  1. My name is Sergi Justribó , I am from Barcelona. I have a blog about social sciences. In 8th March 2012, i put a post of women painters (Self Portait). I put your amazing self portrait. .
    I hope you agree. I put your blog adress.

  2. Sergi,
    Thank you for sharing my self portrait. There are many of my friends and other artists I admire on your post. And some new to me. I'm happy to be included. I will share your post on my facebook wall. Thanks for letting me know about it.



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