His + Hers

i can't believe the opening at rare device was already a week ago. this week has been a whirlwind of catching up on all the things i had put on hold while getting ready for the show.

it was a really nice opening. Lisa + Rena [of rare device] are super kind and supportive and it was a treat to have my parents, and husband, and baby, and father-in-law at the opening. it was also a treat to meet some folks for the first time, and see some friends who managed to make it, even though i gave out the wrong address. [oops. baby brain!]

his + hers : passport photos

so the body of work i made for this show is super duper personal [i know... most artwork is personal, but in this work feels even more so]. when my grandmother was sick with lung cancer i tried to make sure and visit her in LA as much as i could. once she found out i was pregnant she sat me down at one of our lunches [we always went to lunch at nice restaurants] and told me that i was going to inherit a good chunk of money. she said i could use it however i wanted, but that she really thought i should use the money to build a studio in my backyard. especially since i was about to have a baby which was going to change my world more than i could imagine [she had sparkles in her eyes when she said this. boy was she right].

his + hers : bling

thanks to my grandparents - AND the incredible building design of grub [ bug's partner ] i now have a space that is mine all mine literally 10 steps from my backdoor. [i know i still have to show you it. i've been waiting to make this little movie... haven't done it yet. it's on the LIST].

his + hers : lung cancer

i felt it was incredibly important for the first real work i did in the studio to somehow pay homage to my grandparents. because without them and their generosity i wouldn't have the studio.

his + hers : matzo

and so the show was born.

his + hers : tools

here's the statement i wrote about the work::

His + Hers
a show about my grandparents

My grandfather passed away in July 2006. My grandmother in October of 2008. Apart from my parents no 2 people had a more profound influence on me growing up. Their personalities, quirks, likes, dislikes were woven into my life in such a seamless way. In many ways I owe my artwork to them. My grandmother as she taught me how to crochet and knit and was an avid embroiderer. My grandfather as he taught me to love tools and how to take things part. Both of them taught me to be curious and work hard [traits that serve artmaking well].

his + hers : tracksuit

One of the functions of making art for me is acknowledging the past – connecting with and seeking to understand the nostalgic. I also often look to the “mundane” and the “domestic” - searching for small moments and objects that ultimately signify something greater than what they appear to be. I am also keenly interested in gender – what signifies and constitutes something as masculine or feminine? In rendering objects that may be seen as “male” or “female” can I alter or emphasize the perception, or can I create some sort of hybrid take on them as objects?

his + hers : cars

In my work I often leave long threads dangling – to me these threads emphasize the physicality and “drawing” nature of the work [they also pull the work away from “straight” embroidery]. The threads elude to time passing. In some instances they begin to hint at decay, things fraying and pulling at the seams. In my mind our memories start to have dangling threads as time passes – things are not as clear – they become fuzzy... The threads become longer. In other instances the thread highlights connections – moments where similarities are shared. And for me ultimately thread is a drawing device – like a pencil or pen – the thread simply has a different historical reference point than charcoal or ink. [The connotations of “women’s work” and “craft” are also things that intrigue me].

his + hers : need 6 of

These pieces are about what I remember as a child with my grandparents. What they wore, what they drove, what they played, where cancer invaded their lungs. Although they are in essence highly personal there is, I hope, intrinsically a universality to them as well. I’m sure there are people who have their own memories or associations with whisks, pliers, track suits, and American Matzo. These are just pieces of his and her story.

his + hers : cigarettes

his + hers : bridge game

his + hers : hobby

all the images are in a set on flickr . some of the pieces have comments there [like which one is one of my favorites and why bacos].

they are all available for purchase on rare device's site. [although part of me wonders if anyone is interested in this imagery besides me and my family].

oh! i also am part of pikaland's latest zine "good to know" where she asks if you need to have qualifications to be an artist. you can get a copy here . there are lots of really great answers!
have a good weekend!


louise said…
Lisa, huge congratulations, it all looks wonderful. I think your concept behind the work is so touching and I'm sure your Grandparents would love it. What a lovely story about your Grandma's suggestion of the studio, so special. xo lj
babelfish said…
This is so moving, and one of my favourite series yet (wish I could have been there to see it). Your sentence 'woven into my life in such a seamless way' is so appropriate and fitting to the work and thought process, I am in awe.
claire platt said…
I love these - I think the story behind it is definatly appealing to non family too it's just wonderful!
noyab said…
Lisa, I love this series! so moving and fun!
gramma bette said…
Lisa, you have captured the essence of your grandparents, my beloved friends Shirley and Syd, and all they mean to me and Art. Your work is exquisite and meaningful, and would be treasured by every grandchild in the world weaving memories of their own beloved grandparents. Keep up your beautiful work. You are indeed blessed with a unique talent. bette and art
caramela said…
Congratulations Lisa for this very beautiful and evocative body of work-
gracia said…
Your work for the show looks beautiful and full of personal meaning, and I know I, for one, always appreciate seeing such work that comes straight from the heart. Exhibiting can be such a hard thing... putting your heart and soul on the wall for a few to see and perhaps dismiss or overlook.

I hope one day that Louise and I will both be able to see your artwork on the gallery wall in person.

Congratulations! And here's to the twinkling eyes of your Grandmother and the love of your Grandfather.
julie said…
lisa, how wonderful! it was very touching reading this post - i think your art is a beautiful tribute to the people you hold so dear. i really love the two portraits with all of their detail.

denise said…
This is beautiful work and I loved reading about your inspiration. I am also interested in the connotations of “women’s work” and “craft” (as well as memory and family).
life in yonder said…
First of all: I love your statement about your work. It is so difficult to put into words (or so I think) what one thinks about ones art. You do it brilliant.

Second: What a beautiful gift from you grandparents. Showing you their skills and then enabling you to use those "in your backyard"...knowing how much less time you have after you become a mom. Beautiful gift.
Solo said…
I love this. It is so touching. Keep on writing girl. Have fun. ;D

Travel and Living
Job Hunt Pinoy
Congrats on the opening! Love EVERY SINGLE piece above!
Esti said…
these series of yours oozes love. It's really touching.
bugheart said…
the pieces
are even
more personal
and wonderful
you created them
in a place
your grandparents
helped you obtained.
the lung pieces
were the most
amazing to me.
you are
such an
Shokoofeh said…
Wow this is just a stunning idea!
henzy said…
love it. great work

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