Sex Grid #8
DIMENSIONS 14" x 17" MEDIUM archival pigment print
Limited edition of 50, 2013
Accompanied by certificate of authenticity signed and numbered by the artist
For the last forty years, Betty Tompkins has based her paintings on the tension of intimacy and the representation of sexuality, rendering explicit scenes in monochromatic tones. Her large-scale, hyper realistic figure paintings are made from erotic photographs and built layer by layer, using two airbrush nozzles to apply black and white acrylic. Text and language play a large role in Tompkins work, often driving the subject matter and concept of the piece. Her work is not meant to arouse fantasy but to transpose light and shade, the effect of the process enveloping the scene in sfumato. Tompkin's radicalism in the late 60s not only led to the unfortunate censoring of her work, but also the later recognition of her role in the American and European art scene. Like John Currin's famous series in 2006 or Paul McCarthy's sculptures, Tompkins' work has shocked the art milieu and been confiscated by customs, even in an age of omnipresent pornography. Sex Grid #8, though a small study on paper, expresses the same friction and tenderness as a larger work.
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