paulahendersonart.com
Installation- Decoys & Wheels of Fortune-1
2009
Much of my work in painting addresses patterns of iconic representations of gender and race in sports and fashion. In my compositions I utilize bilateral symmetry to create a decorative camouflage in which tracings of the contours of male and female media figures are multiplied and transformed into mirrored abstractions of themselves. The resultant compositions evoke domestic fabrics and are metaphors for the promotion of media gods and goddesses - images invested with the power to shape contemporary behavior.
In the series Ballpark Figures, newspaper sports coverage is the source for compositions based on contours of athletes ‘in play.’ Ironically reminiscent of Mannerist figures they soar into heights capped by courts or playing fields transformed here as the outer limits of their rarified space. Filling their forms with lush paisley abstractions resonates with the peculiar reality of players who are reduced to a number yet simultaneously elevated by the fetishism of their fans. Additionally, paisley, a common fabric pattern with a deep and complex past, serves as a metaphor for erased history and the emptying out of significance when a figure or form is commodified through its manufacture. Problematic aspects of the commercialization of sports slip away in its overwhelming spectacle.