Sharon Shapiro: Strawberry Letter 23
Sharon Shapiro returns to Poem 88 for her second solo exhibition of luscious, sexy and provocative watercolors and works on panel. Frequently working from found imagery, film stills and fashion photography, Shapiro continues a long tradition of the study of the female form rigorously exploring ideas about beauty, objectification and sexual power beginning with Botticelli and extending to the Playboy pin-up. New to the work is an intentional doubling and/or blurring of the figure intended to illustrate the ongoing tension between the conflicted roles of women as both powerful sexual beings and sexual objects. This ambiguity also speaks to the illusory nature of the image derived from time-based media like film and television. The title of the exhibition, Strawberry Letter 23, comes from a Brothers Johnson recording from 1977 that, for curator Robin Bernat, captures the gorgeous complexity, soulfulness and glamor that Shapiro's work so deftly encapsulates.
Shapiro says about her work:
I am fascinated by the conflict between the inner and outer lives of human experience, between the self’s placid exterior and its churning, riotous core. Painting, I believe, is a good medium to both capture and illuminate this tension.
The opening reception will be a collaboration between Poem 88 and Sumptuary: specialty drinks and 70s style dance party will set the mood.