Laura Winn Clark
You say, “Hello” and I say, “How are you?” And then you “confess” to a terrible morning and we feel better that we got past “pleasantries.” But we didn’t talk about what caused you to get up this morning, forego more lucrative work and more pleasurable leisure to MAKE something.
What do I do? I paint women, often artists, in their surroundings. My subjects are friends and acquaintances – chefs, writers, painters, sculptors – who are claiming space for themselves and their work; my aim is to document the private choices that make their work possible. I try to look with the third eye of my subject, entering their world through conversation, documentation and reflection. Slow thinking and uncertainty are important; the themes are existential: commitment, shirking, isolation and connection. The paintings feature compositional juxtapositions, iridescent color, and a visual rapport between the subject and their space that reveals each painting’s narrative.
For some viewers, the series connects to personal experience and offers a sense of belonging. For others, it reminds us of the larger social order. For me, the process of making the paintings creates an opportunity to ask meaningful questions, unearth esoteric wisdom, and find camaraderie with my subjects as we thrive on the fortitude of each other.
In another series, I render urban backyards, where all – from the walls and patios to the trees and plants – are the result of generations of careful toil. I am fascinated by the investment in these spaces and the complexities of how these spaces operate. The implicit subjects are the women who construct and curate them, the time they devote to it and the parallel care I take in mythologizing their Sisyphean efforts.
“What is realism? Or, to be more accurate, what are realisms? For there is not a single realism, but many.”-Linda Nochlin
Please be in touch! firstname.lastname@example.org