POW! (Portraits of Women)

03 - Jean Lowe, POW! (Portraits of Women) 

Jean Lowe
American, b. 1960

POW! (Portraits of Women)
Site-specific painted installation with papier mache plants and rug
Dimensions variable
Loan from the artist

POW!—as in a punch, as an anagram for Portraits of Women. I've appropriated paintings from Pablo Picasso, Willem de Kooning, Francis Bacon, and one from Jackson Pollock, and painted them directly on the wall. Although there are 11 “paintings” in this installation, it's really just one big painting. One big three-dimensional painting that also carries out over my built forms—the plants as well as the carpet on the floor. I specifically took works of art, sort of haggish depictions of women by “heroic” male artists. I started with the idea or with the feeling that these were inherently misogynistic, but as I worked on the piece, I came to love these girls, their fierce power and strength, even as depicted through the male gaze. But by robbing these paintings of their physical presence it levels the importance of all the other things that are going on in the room, as well as the “paintings” themselves. So, the decorative elements—the carpet, the basket weaving, and the frames—are just as weighty to me as these paintings.”

"If you keep going back, you'll get to the video room where Art and About with Bill Mackelry is playing. And I think it's really best if we let Bill just carry the show on that one.”