22 September 2012

Pointillist portraits

On the one hand, the work of Chuck Close -
detail from a recent self-portrait
"Why do you paint like this?" someone asked at a talk he gave during his exhibition at the Hayward Gallery. "Because I can," he said (he was severely paralysed by a viral illness).

On the other hand, work by Shin-hee Chin -
showing in Abilene, Kansas, until Jan 2013, in an exhibition called "War and Peace".

Shin-hee Chin's fibre art includes many portraits, some using thread and others using yo-yos. She says: "I constantly try to valorize devalued women’s labor and the women’s body by reversing the negative insinuations associated with female domains and imbuing them with positive qualities. For that purpose, I often utilize needle, thread, and fabric in order to call into question the deep-seated bias that women’s work are trivial, menial, marginal and undesirable. By incorporating wool, fiber, and string into the sculptural production, I convert the conventional “feminine” activity of needle works into a useful medium for the making of art. Through the strategic use of media that have been traditionally associated with the feminine, I want to show that seemingly ‘menial female work’ can be a source of pleasure and power for women."

Here's her own self-portrait  -

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