Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Thursday, October 16, 2008
Saturday, October 11, 2008
The opening night for "Guys and Dolls" was a fabulous hit! We all had a ball, and especially enjoyed the opportunity to dress up at ACME. I even had a chance to do some glamour shots with photographer Justin Pearson, before my curtain call. Check out my Picasa Web Album for more photos of the reception.
By Isabel Heblich, Star-News Correspondent
A new courageous body of work from local sculptor Sandra Ihly and an introduction to British import painter Michelle Connolly opens tomorrow at Acme Art Studios with a reception from 6 to 9 pm.
Ihly and Connolly chose the title "Guys and Dolls," as Ihly was using actual dolls in her work and Connolly was far into a series of portraits of British comedians: funny guys not without a little psychosis like Peter Sellers and Benny Hill. Connolly paints fun in thick, fast swaths of medium yellows and cadmium reds. Fun at seedy cabaret clubs. Fun at a carousel in the sky. "We have fun, don't we Sandy?' Connolly asks rhetorically during an interview last week. Connolly adds a little fear to her fun. Her characters emerge out of blackness and like a mirage, seem just as likely to merge back in and abandon the viewer. You can't trust a comedian.
While Connolly likes to play with the boundary between a laugh and a scream, Ihly unapologetically calls it as she sees it. Ihly plays the straight-man in this duo. She is the Laurel to Connolly's Hardy.
In a vocabulary of antique articles of womanhood - dress patterns, birthday cards, baby-dolls, barbies, high heels, milk bottles, and ironing boards - Ihly spells out some universal experiences by being specific about her own. Ihly's three-dimensional metaphors show what it's like to be a daughter and a mother: a baby bottle filled with painted white nails inside the breast of a dress form. Others show what it's like, as a woman, to grow older: a bathroom cabinet stocked with curling irons and high heels spray painted black, with the words "You're nobody's baby anymore" etched inside the metal shelves.
Ihly blows the top off the idolatry of dolls and subsequent doll-behavior expected from women. Unsympathetically, Ihly speaks outside herself in "Pageant" - a suitcase of multicultural Barbie dolls prettily fight for the crown. The piece is not exaggerated, so a person can really examine the oddness of dolls and their misguided desperation in the context of our society.
"As a child I was sort of frightened by dolls," Ihly said, " because they came apart." She explained that WWII had just ended in her doll playing years and soldiers began to come home missing limbs. Ihly still cringes while dissembling a doll to drill the eyes in bedposts for "Bedroom Eyes" or while putting a doll's head in an Easy Bake Oven for "Bun in the Oven."
Often these honest, blameless portraits are of actual women. Ihly reenacts their lives and relationships with doll-playing to conquer the prison guards of a womanhood she wants to shatter: body image, jealously, housewares.
Ihly's piece "Thou Shall", to counter the Bible's "thou shalt nots" is a portrait of Conolly and a tribute to self-expression. The doll's hair, like Connolly's, is streaked with red and both arms are locked in the up position, as if to say "Olly olly oxen free!"