Imagery of war, porn and the American way
Work by Kara Maria and Eurydice
July 28-August 18, 2012
Opening Reception Saturday, July 28, 6:30-8:30 pm
KHFA brings together two female artists, from the East and West Coast
View exhibit gallery
Kara Maria's work fuses abstraction and representation. A wide variety of subjectsfrom environmental crisis on Earth to astronomical observations of the universe; the structure of music; the patterns of biology; the quandaries of physics and philosophy; international politics and war; from the macrocosmic to the microcosmicinfluence her art making. She hopes the work communicates a sense of humor and playfulness as well as an engagement with the state of the world we live in today. Although many issues are referenced, the work itself remains nonlinear, seeking to raise questions rather than to give answers.
After beginning college at a music conservatory on the East Coast, transferring through a few different schools, and spending a year studying and traveling in Europe, Kara Maria moved to San Francisco in 1990 to attend the University of California, Berkeley. There she earned a BA in Art Practice in 1993, followed by an MFA in 1998.
Maria's work can be found in public collections including the Cantor Arts Center, Stanford University, Stanford, CA; the di Rosa Preserve, Napa, CA; the de Saisset Museum, Santa Clara, CA among others. She has been the recipient of a Masterminds Grant from the SF Weekly, San Francisco, CA; a grant from Artadia, New York, NY; and an Eisner Prize from the University of California, Berkeley. Her prints have been published by presses including Gallery 16, San Francisco; Shark's Ink, Lyons, CO; and Smith Andersen Editions, Palo Alto, CA.
American culture, which shamelessly glorifies and manipulates sex as a panacea has simultaneously glorified and lauded the Puritanical repression of sexual desire and sexual expression. Where else in the world are you able to view MTV-style "public service messages" that sell safe sex to teens with a soft-core format? Where else does sexual identitymale, female, gay, straight, bi, trans, and celibateso thoroughly define the individual?
In this culture, it is not surprising that the voice of clarity belongs to an outsider. Eurydice, the author of Satyricon USA, has fashioned a truly insightful look at the conundrums, contradictions and kinks forming the rich, steaming stew of American sexual culture. Modeled after the first-century Roman Petronius' supposedly metaphorical memoirs, this Satyricon takes the reader across a rather sordid landscape where sex is commodified, tabulated, celebrated, hidden away and, most pathetically and very truthfully, mistaken for love.
Born in Greece, Eurydice ran away from home at age 14, headed for Hollywood stardom. She made it as far as New York's Greenwich Village. Academics were her refuge and she became a perpetual student, accumulating scholarships and degrees to forestall the alternativelife in the American workforce. Somewhere in there, an award-winning novel, f/32, was published and translated around the world. Eventually, Bob Guccione, Jr. lured her from the ivory tower, and Eurydice found herself writing the wild side, first for Spin and now as Gear magazine's monthly sex columnist.
Kara Maria, "The Way In Is the Way Out" (detail), 2006, acrylic on canvas, 40" x 30"
Eurydice, "I Am" (detail), 2011, acrylic and charcoal on canvas, 68" x 46"