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JOMO (The Joy of Missing Out)
In “JOMO: The Joy of Missing Out”, at the Evanston Art Center, Kathy Halper celebrates her anti-social life through her humorous multimedia paintings and sculptures. As Halper says, “You know, I love my friends dearly. I just hate having to see them”. Using craft materials, warped perspectives and sculptured surfaces, she explores the daily boredom of 30 years of marriage, dogs in our personal space and our addiction to screens. With honesty, affection, and tongue-in-cheek awareness, Halper invites everyone to her party of one.
To create her narrative paintings, Halper warps and forces perspectives, creating a sense of instability and chaos that somehow makes sense. She sources cardboard from Amazon orders, glitter, embroidery thread, and various clays to build up her base surface, making objects literally pop out. Objects often defy the panel’s edge, running onto the frame. The artist also embellishes bisque vases that appear to have escaped her canvases, more concerned for their challenge to her storytelling goals than functional origins.
Halper first made a name for herself a decade ago creating embroideries that explored issues of privacy using found photos of teenagers in Facebook’s nascent days. As Hyperallergic’s Alicia Eler said at the time, “Halper offers a look into a world normally closed off from adults, especially from parents.” Halper has since increasingly turned her lens on herself, employing the same critical yet loving eye. Her new work is her most personal yet, exploring life as it happens and turning each day, no matter how uneventful, into the potential for art.
See “JOMO: The Joy of Missing Out”, Kathy Halper’s solo exhibition at the Evanston Art Center, January 10 – February 18, 2024. Opening reception is Sunday, January 14, 1-4pm. More images can be found on my website here or through the attached PDF. The Evanston Art Center is always free to the public.
To learn more visit its website at https://www.evanstonartcenter.org/