Featured Artist: Liliana Porter

     I recently compiled a set of 50 links to artists who influence me personally in this blog's sidebar.  While it would be fun to let you go through them all by yourself, it's much better to talk about them a little, to share with you what it is about these particular artist's work that appeals to me.

     Liliana Porter is an artist who works in a multitude of mediums including printmaking, painting, photography, installations, film and video.  She was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in 1941, and has lived and worked in New York since 1964.  Porter was a 
professor at Queens College, City University of New York, from 1991 to 2007.
Levitating Rabbit (2003)
Nail (1972)

Dialogue with It (1997)

Candle (2005)

Situations with Them (2007)

Triptych (1986)

     I enjoy Porter's work for its charm and appeal to my sense of nostalgia. I also respond to the emotional quality and irony that seem to permeate the bulk of her work. Her quirky drawings of small objects are carefully juxtaposed within the starkness of a smooth sheet of paper, suspended in a singular moment, giving the viewer time to consider and question its relevance.  Human nature persuades an attachment to objects beginning from childhood, and Porter takes what is deemed sentimental to create a message, even if it may be one that gravitates towards the absurd.

Liliana Porter's Current Artist 
     In the last years, parallel to photography and video, I have been making works on canvas, prints, drawings, collages, and small installations. Many of these pieces depict a cast of characters that are inanimate objects, toys and figurines that I find in flea markets, antique stores, and other odd places. The objects have a double existence. On the one hand they are mere appearance, insubstantial ornaments, but, at the same time, have a gaze that can be animated by the viewer, who, through it, can project the inclination to endow things with an interiority and identity. These theatrical vignettes are constructed as visual comments that speak of the human condition. I am interested in the simultaneity of humor and distress, banality and the possibility of meaning.

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