Friday, October 26, 2007

Hannah Barrett

“The Secret Society,” Jamaica Plain artist Hannah Barrett’s show of gender-bending grisaille paintings at Howard Yezerski Gallery, dices and recombines Civil War–era photographic portraits to invent a parade of curious dames, viscounts, lords, and duchesses.
The Chesterly Sisters (2007) depicts mirror-image twins in satiny gowns perched next to each other on a bench. Their goatees, large hands, and broad shoulders suggest they’re gentlemen. Or cross-dressing gentlemen. But their hairdos, attire, and wasp waists suggest they’re ladies. Or bearded ladies. Barrett mixes and matches anatomy and reflects it with a funhouse-mirror eye so that typical gender cues turn all slippery.

She’s been playing this intriguing game for years now...
Read the rest here.

Here are some links to Barrett's past work: 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5.

Hannah Barrett, “The Secret Society,” Howard Yezerski Gallery, 14 Newbury St., Boston, Oct. 5 to 30, 2007.

Pictured from top to bottom: “The Chesterly Sisters,” “The Chancellery Private Secretary Leech,” “Dame Critchley – Midgeley," and “Demoiselle Blackheath."


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