Monday, January 21, 2013

Greta Pratt, "Taking Liberties"

While spending part of this winter in Richmond, Virginia, I was fortunate to find Candela Gallery which was featuring Greta Pratt's "Taking Liberties" series. The works have remained very much on my mind, even months after first viewing them, life-sized, hung heroically- their faces just slightly above eye-level. Though the show closed before the essay I wrote could be published, I see no reason to not call attention to this fine work:

“It is apparent that underneath so much tactless raiment are strongly individuated people- clearly someone’s mom, daughter, nephew, or son. Rodney Parker’s probably-homemade “pain” tattoo is visible at his wrist, and Christine Sweeney’s doughy hands sport gecko-green manicured nails. Pratt deftly manages to humanize these figures without reducing them to typology. We don’t learn whether one is a recovering addict, or another a battered mother; we’re “told” only that these are people were compelled to cede a degree of dignity for a nominal wage. It’s a trade off nearly most of us- those who remain employed- can deeply empathize with. The fact that these particular people embody “liberty” only makes the realization more acute.” link

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