Jan 11th 2010

Helen Maurene Cooper: Hard Candy

@ President’s Gallery HWC

30 E Lake St, 1105, Chicago, IL 60601

Opening Monday, January 11th, from 4:30PM - 6:30PM

On view through Friday, February 26th

Hard Candy presents recent large-scale photographs that stage Chicago-centered trends in synthetic nail design among surreal sets of luscious colors and textures. In her current work, the artist performs and directs using visual cues linked to participation in specific subcultures in an effort to expose and re-mix the relationships the viewer has to them.

The photographs in this exhibition are suggestive. The information we are given about the subject of each photo is limited by cropping which gives the viewer room to make his or her own associations about the bodies that are represented. The exploration of codes of femininity and how they relate to the performance of race and class exist in tandem with the seductive, glossy surfaces of these images. The participation of members of the Harold Washington College community as the artist’s “nail crushes” and the anonymous craftsperson who painted the nails were integral to the creation of these works.

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