Body Art

Happy Monday morning everybody.... This weekend I attended the exhibition party of Paint Made Flesh at the Memorial Art Gallery (MAG). The show focused on how the body, skin and all of our fatty bits are treated in painting from the 1960's to today. Although the exhibition is not intended for Halloween in particular, it went right along with the great horror flicks bombarding me on TV lately. I was in that spirit of gore as I looked over Jenny Seville's blister like handling of skin and Francis Bacon's dark, smeared faces with sharp looking teeth glinting. Many others displayed brilliantly colored cadavers splayed out on tables and cuts and scratches on bodies, whether painted or dug right in with sgraffito.

Jenny Seville Hyphen, 1999

John Currin Hobo, 1999

The standout pieces or me had to be Jenny Seville's Hyphen and John Currin's Hobo, both from 1999 . Both artists were hyped up a ton at Art School and it was so good to see the work in person. Jenny's handling of paint that she describes as "tins of liquid flesh" and John's floppy breasted, twisty necked women. Work by Lucian Freud, Lisa Yuskavage and Alice Neel also had my little aesthetic antennae perked up. Oh and by the way there was a Picasso too....but who really cares.

The MAG offered up more fun outside the gallery with free, yes FREE, henna tattoo's by Robin Jaekel of Henna Rising. I waited in line for a little symbol representing the Voodoo love goddess Erzuli Freda, that she dusted with red glitter while the henna paste dried. Love it!

This exhibition will be at the MAG through January 3, 2009. Check it out or take one of the figure painting classes hosted by the Creative Workshop at the museum, specifically for the show.


  1. i used to work in the MAG events office and the exhibition parties were always lots of fun! love the henna!

  2. My students were loving it today too. I think it could become addictive! I am really likeign the MAG openings too. I went to the Russian Icon one last year as well.