Just Desserts: Beyond Cake
Joan Fitzsimmons, Barbara Marks and Alexis Neider
July 16 - September 9, 2011
Opening Reception July 16, 2011, 5 to 8 pm
I was thinking back to what I used to consider beautiful when I was young. Special events called for a special cake, often store-bought. I was enamored of their beauty, of the decadent indulgence.
For all that the cakes represent - a celebratory marker of joy and moment - sometimes other truths lie at the edges. Perhaps a cultural pretension, cakes and ceremony allow all the pretense of happiness and belonging... for a while.
I chose birthday cakes as a subject for their levity (celebratory object) as much as their gravity (representing the passage and marking of time). The cake is a metaphor, not just a pastry.
In this series, the iconic cake form makes its appearance in a panoply of situations. At times the cake dominates; but mostly it has a subversive presence. As an object, the cake is recognizable -- but its context is unfamiliar or unlikely.
My most recent series, The Disintegration of Dinner, deals with the deep connections between food and raw emotion in a way that goes beyond common clichés. I began the series during a difficult time in my life, when food became pleasure-less to me. In these paintings, the food occupies an uncomfortable amount of the canvas, overwhelming the viewer.