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Male Figure Drawing Squirrel: What If You Couldn’t ‘Cause You’re A Girl?

Male Figure Drawing Squirrel: What If You Couldn't 'Cause You're A Girl? oil on wood panel, 24 x 36, 2015

Male Figure Drawing Squirrel: What If You Couldn’t ‘Cause You’re A Girl? Mixed media: oil pastel and oil on wood panel, 24″ x 36″ (60.96 cm x 91.44 cm), 2015

SHE, Fazakas Gallery
Opening Reception: Saturday May 23th 6pm – 8pm
Exhibition Dates: May 23th – June 20th
Venue: Fazakas Gallery, 145 West 6th Avenue, Vancouver
Gallery Hours: 11 am – 5 pm Tuesday to Saturday
Information: www.fazakasgallery.com

FULL SHOW DETAILS HERE

When I was enrolled at the Visual Arts, Department of Fine Arts, University of Victoria to complete my undergrad, I didn’t fully appreciate the value and privilege of being able to participate in gender equal art classes. Specifically, drawing male nude models.  When I returned to fine art almost a decade later, I still took for granted that this inclusive training was forbidden to women 150 years ago. The opportunity to participate in the group show SHE led me to begin a self-directed investigation into the history of women in art, and was the inspiration for the painting, Male Figure Drawing: What If You Couldn’t ‘Cause You’re A Girl?

The concept for this painting started when I ordered some art DVD’s (I know, how quaint) a few months ago. As part of my art-immersion lifestyle, no time is spared to consume much of anything outside of art related programming. While watching, The Story of Women and Art, written and presented by historian, writer, and broadcaster Amanda Vickery, I was first inspired to revisit the male nude figure. Her series informed me of society’s daunting restrictions for women in the history in art. In particular, the subject of training, commissions, and access any nude models.

Vickery’s series led me to read, Why Have There Been No Great Woman Artists? (1) by prominent American art historian, Linda Nochlin. In her essay, she deconstructs art history by identifying and rejecting methodological presuppositions. Published by ArtNews  in 1971 this essay posed a question that would spearhead an entirely new branch of art history.

In the period extending from the Renaissance until near the end of the nineteenth century, a careful and prolonged study of the nude model was essential to any work with pretensions to grandeur, and to the very essence of History Painting, then generally considered to be the highest category of art.  Life drawing was essential for any artist’s success. Being able to portray the figure in an anatomically correct way meant artists could then make paintings considered significant by their colleagues and collectors. History paintings with religious, literary, and historical subjects relied on the beautiful depiction of the human form. Before the late 19th century, women were generally excluded from figure drawing classes, considered inappropriate for a woman’s supposedly delicate sensibilities. Consequently, women were unable to compete for Academic recognition and commissions.

Many articles I came across referenced two particular women artists in Britain. Mary Moser and Angelica Kauffman were founding members of the Royal Academy in 1786. However, they were not included as persons attending the life drawing class in the engraving of Johann Zoffany’s The Royal Academy of Arts, 1771-2 – they were depicted as wall paintings. This was evidence of how women were traditionally excluded from drawing classes, considered inappropriate for a woman’s delicate sensibilities.   There were  also no other female students at the RA during that time.

Johann Zoffany, The Royal Academy of Arts, 1771-2

Johann Zoffany, The Royal Academy of Arts, 1771-2  (male nude figure drawing class)

In 1860 Laura Herford was admitted by accident to the RA Schools after submitting drawings with only her initials, LH. Over the course of the next 10 years, an additional 34 female students were admitted, and a series of petitions began to allow women that same opportunity of study as the male students.

It wasn’t until 1893 (20 years and countless petitions later) that a provision was made for women to study the “partially draped”  model.

In America in 1876, women such as Alice Barber Stephens, was the first woman to enrol in the prestigious Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts and joined the women artists petitioning for more life drawing classes. By 1879, the only nudes available were women models, while male models were modestly draped.

Much of this information is common knowledge (probably) among fine arts academics, but I decided to paint the male nude figure for this show, because many people I spoke with outside of the art world, had no idea of the struggle for equal arts training for women in the history of art.

References

“Why Have There Been No Great Women Artists?” ARTnews January 1971: 22-39, 67-71

Squirrel Mask by: Archie McPhee

Guerrilla Squirrel: Guerrilla Girls, Pussy Galore, Wonder Woman, and Gloria Steinem

Guerrilla Squirrel, oil on wood panel, 40 x 40, 2015 (after Guerrilla Girls' and Pussy Galore)

Guerrilla Squirrel, oil on wood panel, 48 x 48, 2015 (after Guerrilla Girls’ and Pussy Galore)

Carollyne Yardley working on Guerrilla Squirrel. In the studio.

Carollyne Yardley working on Guerrilla Squirrel. In the studio.

Guerilla Squirrel, detail

Guerilla Squirrel, detail.

Guerrilla Squirrel, detail.

Guerrilla Squirrel, detail.

Guerrilla Squirrel, detail.

Guerrilla Squirrel, detail.

Guerrilla Squirrel, detail.

Guerrilla Squirrel, detail.

Event: “SHE”
Opening Reception: Saturday May 23th 6pm – 8pm
Exhibition Dates: May 23th – June 20th
Venue: Fazakas Gallery, 145 West 6th Avenue, Vancouver
Gallery Hours: 11 am – 5 pm Tuesday to Saturday
Information: www.fazakasgallery.com

FULL SHOW DETAILS HERE

This is one of my new works appearing in this upcoming group show.  The theme of SHE, Fazakas Gallery, is about diversity in feminism. FULL SHOW DETAILS HERE.

In order to remind myself of the WORD, I downloaded a copy of Gloria Steinem’s, Outrageous Acts, and Everyday Rebellions and re-read the Guerrilla Girls’, Beside Companion to the History of Western Art, and ART MUSEUM Activity Book.

Gloria Steinem and Guerrilla Girls' books

Gloria Steinem and Guerrilla Girls’ books

Happy 30th Anniversary to the Guerrilla Girls’!

Since 1985, the Guerrilla Girls’, an anonymous collective of female artists and art-world professionals, have used gorilla masks, glue brushes, and acidly satiric posters to prove that humour (and fake fur) can illuminate and educate the art community to the sexism, racism and inequality in the art world. (4)  The Guerrilla Girls’ 1986 Report Card tallied the number of women represented by top New York galleries at the time.

Curator Maura Reilly posted an image of gallery gender statistics in February 2015. It was Pussy Galore’s 2015 Report Card by the Feminist Art Collective showing the percentages of women represented by some of the top art galleries in New York City today. The two images are below for comparison. The new tally shows sexism is still alive and well at top NYC galleries.

Guerrilla Girls 1986 Report Card and Pussy Galore 2015 Report Card. Imageby Maura Reilly

Guerrilla Girls 1986 Report Card and Pussy Galore 2015 Report Card. Imageby Maura Reilly

In planning the painting, Guerrilla Squirrel, my use of the squirrel mask (by Archie McPhee), and its metaphor for secrets was a perfect parallel to the GGs’ gorilla mask of anonymity.

The Guerrilla Girls’ website reads, “We’re feminist masked avengers in the tradition of anonymous do-gooders like Robin Hood, Wonder Woman and Batman. How do we expose sexism, racism and corruption in politics, art, film and pop culture?”

The mention of Wonder Woman made me think of a book I bought years ago at a yard sale. Wonder Woman, A Ms. Book Published by Holt, Rinehart and Winston and Warner Books, 1972. I pulled it out to keep the stream of ideas flowing. Low and behold, the book has an introduction by Gloria Steinem / interpretive Essay by Phyllis Chesler, and designed by Bea Feitler. Additionally, each of the four sections of comics: Origins, Sisterhood, Politics, and Romance, have a preface by Gloria Steinem.

Wonder Woman, Introduction by Gloria Steinem / Interpretive Essay by Phyllis Chesler, and designed by Bea Feitler. A Ms. Book Published by Holt, Rinehart and Winston and Warner Books. 1972.

Wonder Woman, Introduction by Gloria Steinem / Interpretive Essay by Phyllis Chesler, and designed by Bea Feitler. A Ms. Book Published by Holt, Rinehart and Winston and Warner Books. 1972.

Did I mention that I’ve owned and operated a Wonder Woman costume ever since 1977?

Found my first Wonder Woman costume. My mum made it for me when I was about seven? Because I *WAS* LINDA CARTER. #wonderwoman #1970's

Found my first Wonder Woman costume. My mum made it for me when I was about seven? Because I *WAS* LINDA CARTER. #wonderwoman #1970’s

It’s a lot or work, ya know.

Next up was asking permission from the Guerrilla Girls’ and Pussy Galore (both located in NYC) to use the Report Cards in a painting. I first emailed the Guerrilla Girls’, and asked if they would grant me permission to use their 1986 Report Card. I received an email back the next day from Kathe Kollwitz (a pseudonym).

On Mar 6, 2015, at 4:50 AM, Guerrilla Girls  wrote:

Sure. Could you send an image of the painting when you finish it?

Best, Kathe Kollwitz for the Guerrilla Girls
________________________________

GUERRILLA GIRLS
www.guerrillagirls.com
www.facebook.com/guerrillagirls
www.twitter.com/guerrillagirls

Next, I emailed Pussy Galore. Initially, I heard back from Maura Reilly letting me know I needed to ask the collective itself. Within hours, I had received permission from the Feminist Art Collective to use the 2015 Pussy Galore report card.

On Mar 6, 2015, at 10:02 AM, Feminist Art Collective wrote:
Dear Carollyne,

We’d be delighted! Just be sure to credit us somewhere. And please send us a pic of the painting when you finish it–for our files.

thanks for thinking of us.

Best,

the PGs

I was very thrilled at this point. And grateful! Thank you to both the GGs’ and the PG’s.

My final concept blended the two report cards (Guerrilla Girls’ 1986 and Pussy Galore 2015), Gloria Steinem dressed as WW with gold bracelets flexing her gun muscles, the primary colours of the Wonder Woman Ms. Book (which I likened to the bold colours of the Guerrilla Girls’ posters), and the squirrel mask (by Archie McPhee) for anonymity. Even my favourite Star Global Advanced IT Corp. Ltd. and Carollyne Yardley Omnimedia logo = the five-pointed star was integrated, although it IS a Wonder Woman thing.

Guerrilla Girls In the News:

Guerilla Girls Birthday Party 30 Years and Still Counting
http://www.guerrillagirls.com/posters/2015guerrillagirls30thbirthday.shtml

The Guerilla Girls Are Still Relevant After All There Years
https://hyperallergic.com/199104/the-guerrilla-girls-are-still-relevant-after-all-these-years/

The Guerrilla Girls: 30 years of punking art world sexism

http://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2015/apr/29/the-guerrilla-girls-interview-art-world-sexism

Pussy Galore in the News:

Art Collective Pussy Galore Shows NYCS Galleries Still Pretty Sexist
http://animalnewyork.com/2015/art-collective-pussy-galore-shows-nycs-galleries-still-pretty-sexist/

Pussy Galore’s 2015 Gallery Report Card is Out
http://artfcity.com/2015/02/19/pussy-galores-2015-gallery-report-card-is-out/

Reference

(4) http://www.guerrillagirls.com

Squirrel Mask by: Archie McPhee

SHE, Fazakas Gallery, Vancouver, BC | Artists Trace Yeomans, Carollyne Yardley, Rosa Quintana Lillo

MEDIA RELEASE

Media Contact: LaTiesha Fazakas at 604.876.2729 or info@fazakasgallery.com

Event: “SHE”
Opening Reception: Saturday May 23th 6pm – 8pm
Exhibition Dates: May 23th – June 20th
Venue: Fazakas Gallery, 145 West 6th Avenue, Vancouver
Gallery Hours: 11 am – 5 pm Tuesday to Saturday
Information: www.fazakasgallery.com
Facebook Event: https://www.facebook.com/events/1649230118643096/

SHE

Is SHE there yet? How far has SHE come? How far does SHE need to go?

What does it mean to be a woman in our ever-changing social landscape? How do female artists perceive the impact of gender on their work, practice, and career?  Do they even want their gender to be a discussion point?

In the Fazakas Gallery’s newest show, SHE, three very diverse female artists Rosa Quintana, Carollyne Yardley, and Trace Yeomans come together for a visual discussion.

In terms of female history, much has been said, challenged, restated and rectified. Thanks to some stubborn, tenacious and brilliant women, art history specifically has been revised and forced to include them.
Female artists today have role models with which to identify and draw inspiration. Which begs the question, is SHE there yet? How far has SHE come? How far does SHE need to go?

This exhibition creates an opportunity for pointed questions from the audience, while providing an opportunity to view exceptional work by three talented artists who also happen to be women.

Featured Artists who will be featured in SHE include:

Trace Yeomans was born on Haida Gwaii to a Haida mother and a Ukrainian father. She has been an artist for most of her life, prompting her to pursue this passion throughout high school, and to acquire post-secondary training. Her passion has always been painting but she is also known for her beautiful Dance Regalia with appliqued Haida designs and fabric art techniques, some of which are displayed in museums around the world.

Trace has frequently worked with her husband, Don Yeomans, combining their respective skills to create unique and critically acclaimed artwork, examples of which can be seen in her fabric art and paintings. She has also worked along side him painting and carving on several totem pole commissions, including the monumental poles in the rotunda of the Vancouver International Airport. Trace has explored many mediums during her art career but always circles back to her first love – oil painting.

Empty Nest by Trace Yeomans, oil on canvas, 40" x 30"

Empty Nest by Trace Yeomans, oil on canvas, 40″ x 30″

Haidaranian Raven Eggs by Trace Yeomans, ultra suede aplique on ultra suede background over board, 12" x 36"

Haidaranian Raven Eggs by Trace Yeomans, ultra suede aplique on ultra suede background over board, 12″ x 36″

Carollyne Yardley coined the term Squirrealism to describe her signature style of fine artwork using squirrel faces in paintings, photographs, and digital art to create strange, transgene characters and creatures, living in wonderful worlds.

Through the meticulous and minute brushwork of fine portraiture, Carollyne’s work incorporates allegory and surrealism to explore psychological truths and complexities about the human condition. Even without a human face, her paintings maintain the essence of a portrait, immediately conveying humour and personality — followed by budding uncertainty about the characters and the secrets they keep.

Carollyne Yardley has garnered all levels of press in Canada, featured in The Globe and Mail, The National Post, CTV News, CBC Radio, online weblogs, and the covers of several books and magazines.

Madonna and Bank Squirrel (birth of ideas), 24 x 36, oil on wood panel, 2015
Madonna and the Birth of Ideas was already in progress by the time the show theme was revealed. I think it works perfectly into the exhibition, however. The squirrel representing the birth of ideas is a direct reference to how Squirrealism was born from painting just one little squirrel. Read more.

Madonna and Bank Squirrel, 24 x 36, oil on wood panel, 2015

Madonna and Bank Squirrel, 24″ x 36″, (60.96 cm x 91.44 cm) oil on wood panel, 2015

The Celebrity of Being Anonymouse, oil on wood panel, 60? x 40? (152.4 cm x 101.6 cm), 2015 

The Celebrity of Being Anonymouse is complete. It is the introduction of a new character.  The imagery is the marriage of Mickey Mouse ears, and a Guy Fawkes mask, the later being a stylized depiction of Guy Fawkes,  the best-known member of the Gunpowder Plot. More recently the mask has been associated with the film V for Vendetta, the hacktivist group Anonymous, and had wider use in popular protests, such as the Occupy movement.
Read more.

Anonymouse detail of head

The Celebrity of Being Anonymouse, 60″ x 40″ (152.4 cm x 101.6 cm), oil on wood panel, 2015. Detail of head

Guerrilla Squirrel, oil on wood panel, 40 x 40, 2015 (after Guerrilla Girls’ and Pussy Galore)
In order to remind myself of the WORD, I downloaded a copy of Gloria Steinem’s, Outrageous Acts, and Everyday Rebellions and re-read the Guerrilla Girls’, Beside Companion to the History of Western Art, and ART MUSEUM Activity Book. Happy 30th Anniversary to the Guerrilla Girls’! Read more.

Guerrilla Squirrel, oil on wood panel, 40 x 40, 2015 (after Guerrilla Girls' and Pussy Galore)

Guerrilla Squirrel, oil on wood panel, 48″x 48″ (121.92 cm x 121.92 cm), 2015 (after Guerrilla Girls’ and Pussy Galore)

Male Figure Drawing Squirrel: What If You Couldn’t ‘Cause You’re A Girl?
When I was enrolled at the Visual Arts, Department of Fine Arts, University of Victoria to complete my undergrad, I didn’t fully appreciate the value and privilege of being able to participate in gender equal art classes. Specifically, drawing male nude models.  When I returned to fine art almost a decade later, I still took for granted that this inclusive training was forbidden to women 150 years ago. Read more.

Male Figure Drawing Squirrel: What If You Couldn't 'Cause You're A Girl? oil on wood panel, 24 x 36, 2015

Male Figure Drawing Squirrel: What If You Couldn’t ‘Cause You’re A Girl? oil on wood panel, 24 x 36 (60.96 cm x 91.44 cm), 2015

Rosa Quintana Lillo, was born in Santiago, Chile and grew up in Buenos Aires, Argentina. In 1977, after fleeing two military dictatorships, she and her family arrived in Toronto, Canada. She is a painter and sculptor working on private and public commissions in Agassiz and Vancouver studios. She attended the Toronto Art Centre where she received a solid technical foundation in the fine arts. Her current paintings deal with content out of context, extinct birds, graffiti, art history and surface texture experimentation.

Since 1989, she has worked for many Contemporary West Coast artists. Her primary work for these artists was the production of carvings, rubber moulds and castings in various materials. She has worked for the Vancouver Art Gallery as a painter on the Michael Lin Mural Project, Public Art Commissions, the Vancouver Film Industry as a sculptor and Props maker and as a sessional instructor at Emily Carr University and The Art Institute of Vancouver.   Her works are in collections in the UK, US, Canada and Mexico.

Extinct Bird - Target Series #11 by Rosa Quintana Lillo, mixed media and acrylics on canvas, 36" x 60"

Extinct Bird – Target Series #11 by Rosa Quintana Lillo, mixed media and acrylics on canvas, 36″ x 60″

Rome Diptych by Rosa Quintana Lillo, mixed media and acrylics on canvas, 48” x 96” x 3”

Rome Diptych by Rosa Quintana Lillo, mixed media and acrylics on canvas, 48” x 96” x 3”

“When LaTiesha Fazakas, owner of the Fazakas Gallery suggested the theme for SHE, I was excited to think about how the squirrels would communicate their POV. Perhaps they would not all be squirrels, maybe a mouse would be in the house. Yes, more rodents. SHE, a group show includes Trace YeomansRosa Quintana Lillo, and myself. The theme explores diversity in feminism. The topic of feminism has not been a focus of my existing body of work per say, but I’ve always believed in equality for myself, and I was excited to be challenged to visually communicate this topic.

I was a young adult in the mid-90’s. Being a pioneer, founder, co-owner, and creative director of a software application and web development company, provided me with the experience of working with all types of business owners, and people in the technology industry. While the incidences of sexism I experienced during that time were too few to mention, if it did occur, the offender was surely drowned out in an acid bath of derisive mockery. During that time, I did notice a lack of women attending tech conferences in Victoria, BC, but it never occurred to my younger self, that this was probably a trickle down affect of sexism. I was there, and that’s what mattered to me at the time.

The last time I had read any feminist discourse or engaged in debate on the subject, was during coursework to complete my undergrad in Fine Art at the University of Victoria (early 90’s). I took courses such as Women in Film, and Women in Television. Perusing my bookshelves today, I still have some of the recommended readings: Multiple Voices in Feminist Film Criticism, Logics of Television, Essays in Cultural Criticism, Television and Women’s Culture, and Feminism and Film Theory. During one of these courses, I recall writing a paper about how the television commercial made for the Emjoi Razor, which demonstrated dehairing the female body, made women a victim of patriarchy.  At the time, the course work resonated with me, and to this day I can’t watch a movie or television show without anticipating a white male protagonist to save the day.

To plan my artworks for the show, I began to pull books from my bookshelf. The Guerrilla Girls’ Bedside Companion to the History of Western Art, and the Art Museum Activity BookNext, I downloaded Outrageous Acts and Everyday Rebellions by Gloria Steinem.

I had not read any of Gloria’s books as a younger woman, so I didn’t get the perspective of comparing my thoughts from then to now. However, as a woman with life experience, Gloria’s discussion about how student-age women are probably treated with more equality than they ever will be again is not inaccurate. It’s true that with age, it’s the experience of life events: entering the paid labour force, marrying or having children and discovering who raises them and who does not; and aging, still a far greater penalty for women than for men – is how the lens can change from which you view the world. (1)  I submitted four paintings for this group show, and have described above how each one formulated in my mind.”

Carollyne Yardley

(1) Gloria Steinem, Outrageous Acts and Everyday Rebellions

The Celebrity of Being Anonymouse, wearing ESCADA haute couture, darling.

The Celebrity of Being Anonymouse, oil on wood panel, 60" x 40" (152.4 cm x 101.6 cm), by Carollyne Yardley

The Celebrity of Being Anonymouse, oil on wood panel, 60″ x 40″ (152.4 cm x 101.6 cm), 2015 by Carollyne Yardley

The Celebrity of Being Anonymouse is complete. It is the introduction of a new character.  The imagery is the marriage of Mickey Mouse ears, and a Guy Fawkes mask, the later being a stylized depiction of Guy Fawkes,  the best-known member of the Gunpowder Plot. More recently the mask has been associated with the film V for Vendetta, the hacktivist group Anonymous, and had wider use in popular protests, such as the Occupy movement.  This painting will be presented at a group show in Vancouver, BC at the Fazakas Gallery, May 23 – June 20, 2015. Opening night: Saturday, May 23rd, 6-8pm. More info will be posted at my website soon.

Anonymouse detail of head

Anonymouse detail of head, oil on wood panel, 2015 by Carollyne Yardley

Several of you will recognize the exquisite nature of the purple jacket. Well, dear fashionistas, you are correct. The gorgeous, purple, satin, and multi-coloured sequin ESCADA jacket seen in the painting, was on loan from the fabulous and elegant Susan Erling-Tyrell, Curator of the Costume Museum at Government House. This piece is from her personal collection.

Details of the ESCADA jacket:

The piece was from The ESCADA Collection of 1980 and a one of piece. The inspiration of this piece was from the art of Salvador Dali and it was designed by Margareta Ley who was the founder of ESCADA.  She was from Sweden and always designed in bright bold and daring themes, ahead of their time because as she said the winters were so long, and dreary and depressing, and that your clothes should always be very bright cheerful and happy to off set the gloom of long winter dark days. She moved to Munich, Germany where this piece was designed. Germany was the base country for all of the original ESCADA clothing.
Visit the company website for more.

Anonymouse detail left side jacket (full painting is 60 x 40, oil on board, 2015 by Carollyne Yardley).

Anonymouse detail left side jacket, oil on wood panel, 2015 by Carollyne Yardley).

 

Anonymouse detail right hand (full painting is 60 x 40, oil on board, 2015 by Carollyne Yardley).

Anonymouse detail right hand, oil on wood panel, 2015 by Carollyne Yardley.

I decided that because the jacket was circa 1980’s, I also wanted to present it as a piece of magazine advertising from the era. In keeping with many aesthetics of the day, the use of white space was often seen in clothing adverts for the United Colours of Benetton, Swatch, and Patrick Kelly to name a few.

The Celebrity of Being Anonymouse, oil on wood panel, 60" x 40" (152.4 cm x 101.6 cm), by Carollyne Yardley

Full size of painting. The Celebrity of Being Anonymouse, oil on wood panel, 60″ x 40″ (152.4 cm x 101.6 cm), by Carollyne Yardley

 

The Celebrity of Being Anonymouse (in progress), 60 x 40, Oil on wood panel.

The Celebrity of Being Anonymouse (in progress), 60″ x 40″ (152.4 cm x 101.6 cm), Oil on wood panel.

 

Here are some behind the scenes pics capturing Secret Squirrel frolicking with the mask of Anonymouse.

Secret Squirrel and mask of Anonymouse, Photo by Jen Steele. Jan 2015.

Secret Squirrel and mask of Anonymouse.  Jan 2015. Photo by Jen Steele.

Secret Squirrel and mask of Anonymouse, Photo by Jen Steele. Jan 2015.

Secret Squirrel and mask of Anonymouse. Jan 2015. Photo by Jen Steele

Secret Squirrel and mask of Anonymouse. Jan 2015.

Secret Squirrel and mask of Anonymouse. Jan 2015. Photo by Jen Steele

 

Update:

Event: “SHE”
Opening Reception: Saturday May 23th 6pm – 8pm
Exhibition Dates: May 23th – June 20th
Venue: Fazakas Gallery, 145 West 6th Avenue, Vancouver
Gallery Hours: 11 am – 5 pm Tuesday to Saturday
Information: www.fazakasgallery.com

FULL SHOW DETAILS HERE

We tend to identify people based on their brand, or outward appearance. The Celebrity of Being Anonymouse challenges your first impressions based on visual cues. Our heuristic reasoning is powered by pattern recognition and association. When applied to social interaction, it makes us natural stereotypers. By replacing the human face with an Anonymous mask and Mickey Mouse ears, and adding a haute couture jacket, the viewer is forced to contemplate the personality of the entity within.

The Celebrity of Being Anonymouse challenges the stereotype which  assumes that most efforts involved in the promotion and success of protests like the Occupy movement are exclusive to the 99%.

Additionally, as our privacy and personal details become more public, either through breaches in data security, or by self-posting our lives on social media, there is a new breed of privacy conscious media stars. While many conspiracy theorists believe the world is being run by anonymous forces, there are literally thousands of individuals that perform world-wide known performances, but no one, or at least the public at large, is aware of who they are as individuals.

In the art world, for example, we have graffiti artists like Banksy, and activists like the Guerrilla Girls. Banksy is a pseudonymous English graffiti artist, political activist, film director, and painter and says, “As a kid I always dreamt of growing up to be a character in Robin Hood.” (4) The Guerrilla Girls, an anonymous collective of female artists and art-world professionals, describd themselves as “…feminist masked avengers in the tradition of anonymous do-gooders like Robin Hood…

These are just two examples of two groups of visual communicators who live in a state of disguised identity, with dreams of equality for all.

Musing about art

Musing about art with Noah Becker

Musing about art with Noah Becker

The Celebrity of Being Anonymouse – painting in progress

The Celebrity of Being Anonymouse (in progress), 60 x 40, Oil on wood panel.

The Celebrity of Being Anonymouse (in progress), 60 x 40, Oil on wood panel.

The Celebrity of Being Anonymouse is my next painting, and is the introduction of a new character added to my œuvre d’art. I started this one last month. It is the marriage of Mickey Mouse ears, and a Guy Fawkes mask, the later being a stylized depiction of Guy Fawkes,  the best-known member of the Gunpowder Plot. More recently the mask has been associated with the film V for Vendetta, the hacktivist group Anonymous, and had wider use in popular protests, such as the Occupy movement.

The gorgeous purple satin and multi-colour sequin ESCADA jacket seen in the painting was on loan from the fabulous, and elegant Susan Erling-Tyrell, Curator of the Costume Museum at Government House. This wearable art is from her personal collection, and the design was inspired by artworks of Salvador Dali – featuring crescent moons, stars, and, of course, the all seeing EYE.
More on this later.

Here are some behind the scenes pics capturing Secret Squirrel frolicking with the mask of Anonymouse.

Secret Squirrel and mask of Anonymouse, Photo by Jen Steele. Jan 2015.

Secret Squirrel and mask of Anonymouse.  Jan 2015.

Secret Squirrel and mask of Anonymouse, Photo by Jen Steele. Jan 2015.

Secret Squirrel and mask of Anonymouse. Jan 2015.

Secret Squirrel and mask of Anonymouse. Jan 2015.

Secret Squirrel and mask of Anonymouse. Jan 2015.

 

Madonna and Bank of Squirrel (birth of ideas). New painting 2015.

Madonna and Bank Squirrel, 24 x 36, oil on wood panel, 2015

Madonna and Bank Squirrel (birth of ideas), 24″ x 36″ (60.96 cm x 91.44 cm), oil on wood panel, 2015

Introducing the first posted painting of 2015. Madonna and the birth of ideas, 24 x 36, oil on wood panel, 2015.

This painting came about from a photo shoot I did back in 2012. The concept was developed during the same session that I styled the imagery for Charlotte’s Web. The dress and veil came from my costume department, as did the lovely kitsch squirrel. He is actually a Chalkware Squirrel Coin Bank,  and I inherited him from my grandmother. She used to have many images of religion hanging on the walls of her home, and it seemed apropos that dear squirrel be immortalized in the manor of her interior decor. (Insert Wink). Perhaps I’ll do as well with my invention of Church of Squirrel.

Model: Jen Steele

Glorious Tree Hat: Silly Hats Only by Kaiser Alexander

Makeup: Jen Clark

Update:

Event: “SHE”
Opening Reception: Saturday May 23th 6pm – 8pm
Exhibition Dates: May 23th – June 20th
Venue: Fazakas Gallery, 145 West 6th Avenue, Vancouver
Gallery Hours: 11 am – 5 pm Tuesday to Saturday
Information: www.fazakasgallery.com

FULL SHOW DETAILS HERE:

Madonna and the Birth of Ideas was already in progress by the time the show theme was revealed. I think it works perfectly into the exhibition, however. The squirrel representing the birth of ideas is a direct reference to how Squirrealism was born from painting just one little squirrel. According to my career and vocation horoscope, ideas are the food of life for me. (1) Many mothers would exclaim that their children provide them with the same nourishment. Using the mother image, and central icons of both the Catholic and Orthodox churches, I have represented my version of “Mary” with her child “Jesus.” In this painting, Jesus has been replaced with the image of a chalkware coin bank squirrel from the 1960’s. The images of Jesus and Mary have been used for centuries to infuse worshippers with hope. Through carefully branded imagery, the church has gained both adoring worshippers, and money to build its infrastructure. The chalkware squirrel reminds us how the birth of ideas can also bring us hope, and uses humour to create a fresh  perspective. It also acknowledges the privilege of living a creative life.

(1) Career and Vocation, Personal Horoscope by Liz Green

Carpooling for work today. #gnomes

Had to carpool to work today. #gnome

Carpooling to work. Photo by Anonymouse

The squirrels say, “Au revoir 2014!”

The squirrels say, “Au revoir 2014!” It’s been a lovely year. Thank you for everything.

Au Revoir 2014 Squirrels. Photo by Carollyne Yardley.

Au Revoir 2014 Squirrels. Photo by Carollyne Yardley.

Also this adorable snap I took on Christmas Day 2014. He’s contemplating, and everything. LOL.

Christmas Day Squirrel 2014. Photo by Carollyne Yardley

Christmas Day Squirrel 2014. Photo by Carollyne Yardley

Squirrels now available at Winchester Galleries Ltd. 2260 Oak Bay Avenue. #squirrealism #contemporary #canadian #art

I’m pleased to announce artworks now available at Winchester Galleries Ltd. 2260 Oak Bay Avenue. #squirrealism #contemporary #canadian #art

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Murakami Squirrel, 24 x 35, OIl on Wood Panel, 2013

Murakami Squirrel, 24 x 35, OIl on Wood Panel, 2013 – SOLD

 

Yayoi Kusama Squirrel, 24 x 36, oil on wood panel, 2013

Yayoi Kusama Squirrel, 24 x 36, oil on wood panel, 2013

Charlotte’s Web, 36 x 24, oil on board, 2012

With Joe Coffey at his opening at Winchester Gallery

With Joe Coffey at his opening at Winchester Gallery

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Yayoi Kusaqma Squirrel in the background at Winchester Galleries

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Carollyne with Charlotte’s Web at Winchester Galleries

 

Winchester Galleries
Website: www.winchestergalleriesltd.com
2260 Oak Bay Ave
Victoria, BC
(250) 595-2777