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