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Mary Katherine Murphy, Fools for Lust

Article Projects at The Realform Girdle Building
218 Bedford Street, at North 5th Street, 212-772-2351
April 26 - May 25, 2008
Reception: Saturday, April 26, 7 - 9 PM
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Article Projects Realform is pleased to present ‘Fools for Lust’ by Mary Katherine Murphy, an exhibition of paintings, collages, and installed objects that deals with the aesthetic aspect of the human gaze, its ability to express the permutations of desire, and its use in determining the character of both the observer and the observed.

Love begins with aesthetic attention, with a visual fascination that may tend to bring out the qualities of a person’s character, and it shows in their face. Sometimes the lust is not just for a person, perhaps it’s for an idea which we may have about them, making them more ideal than they are, or perhaps the ideal disconnects entirely from the person and becomes the object of fascination.

Each of the portraits here depicts a different sort of person. In ‘Keep on Keeping On’ (2008) we have young girl whose faraway gaze makes us think that her lover is geographically distant, or perhaps exists only in reverie. Gripping her throat she is perhaps imagining his hands, or perhaps she is physically affected by the intensity of her longing. In ‘Orchid’ (2008) we have a woman who seems vain and almost furtive. Her lips are pursed, not for a kiss, but in distaste, and her sidelong glance betrays a suspicion which is otherwise unspoken. In ‘The Gaze’ (2008) we have a woman glancing down, perhaps depressed, whose seemingly damaged face is at odds with her elegant sense of style. In ‘Blue Eyes’ (2008) we have a young woman, the baby fat of her teenage years still present (or perhaps she is meant to depict a Rubenesque or zuftig beauty), while her lips are aquiver and her eyes, as big as the rest of her face, show how filled she is with lust, she seems ready to throw all caution to the wind.

We live in emotional times, and each of us expresses this dynamic in different ways. Mary Katherine Murphy is like an archeologist of the emotions, excavating the truth of what we feel and the beauty of how we feel it.
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