September 9, 2013
SHAG is pleased to announce the solo exhibition of Sarah Vogwill entitled Centerfolds. This work consists of banners and prints based on Playboy centerfolds dating back to the 1950’s and stretching into the late 70’s. Taking the classic pinup as her inspiration, the artist has employed a sophisticated drawing program to reinterpret this otherwise worn out imagery. Instead of a display of dewy flesh, we are presented with a skeletal vestige of the original images carved out by intricate and playful lines. Vogwill’s bunnies retain their human faces while their bodies undergo trippy transformations and virtual explosions. Visually engaging, even seductive, it appears that the artist aims to draw us in to her diabolical joy.
Vogwill’s interests are clearly based in female sexuality and feminism, past, present and future. Working with imagery that is overdetermined or kitschy, she enjoys finding ways to make it vital and engaging again. A working artist for more than 20 years, she mines the past to reference her present concerns, including those of a woman of a certain age. Her conceptual background makes for a natural affinity with artists working in similar territory, for instance Cindy Sherman and Marilyn Minter, whose provocative representations of women harbor their own resistance to objectification. On this topic she has questions: “How can we, as women, move on from being equated with our bodies without abandoning the pleasures found there? I am interested in finding what the new sexy is, for me.” We all want to be free, especially in our fantasies.
Installed at SHAG Brooklyn all summer. Thanks so much to Sam for hosting this work.