Thursday, March 1, 2012

getting back on track--she's a fighter

The bend in the road--Ann Brauer--2009.
Isn't it interesting how we use our own stories to add meaning to works of art? Is it fair to the work of art or even the artist? I don't know. Are we missing something by doing this? Again I don't know.  But when I first saw she's a fighter by the very talented Kirsten Stingle--I thought it was such a sad piece. Look at it:

It is maybe four feet high--a trophy of the fighter--looking in my opinion--exhausted. Battling the world--or so I thought. This is the image from Kirsten's web site--worth checking out for all of her wonderful works. Aren't they wonderful?

I had to know more. Why was she so tired? What was Kirsten saying? What could I learn from this? Now I confess I had seen her work before--of course. We had done shows together and I had walked into her booth. But now she was across from me at the Baltimore Show and I got to really study it. Just look at the detail--it is sculpted ceramics with found objects. Amazing work, isn't it? These snapshots are by me--taken and posted with permission of course.

Kirsten of course has a theater and dance background as you can tell. This piece began with the boxing gloves. Perfect aren't they? Then there was the ribbon--a bit hard to see--but it says Bantam Weight Champion. Isn't the color wonderful?

The shirt is actually sculpted and painted clay. As Kirsten told me she had to have the ribbon before she knew the colors of the outfit. What detail there is here. What great use of color and technique.

 "But why is so so sad, " I asked Kirsten.

"Oh no, she is not sad at all", Kirsten replied. The markings on her eyes and lip are just how Kirsten accentuates her features--can't you see the theater background there.  And the hair is one of those iconic images that Kirsten uses frequently. Almost an armor.  OK--I felt better.

As Kirsten went on to explain, the woman was not sad all. Indeed, she thought of her as a fighter who fought with Grace and Patience.  Maybe Humor was there. I forget the other positive sayings on the boxing gloves but you get the picture. All those positive methods we have long been taught to use.

And, tucked away in the back of the figure--in a location that I could not take an image of--but the key to the entire piece--she also fights with a bit of the B**** word. Her secret weapon.

Isn't this the answer? The lesson learned from this piece and indeed an important lesson in life--that we fight as hard as we can with all the graces that we have but if push comes to shove and you need to use it to get by--then just a hint of the B**** word in our back pocket can see us through? At least that is my thought for the day--what do you think?

1 comment:

  1. Grace and Patience, two qualities I wish I had a little more of. B****, I think I have a generous enough dollop of. But yes, a little in your back pocket can go far.

    Her expression to me looks exactly like a winning boxer - exhausted and slightly bewildered,"You mean to say I actually won?"