Sunday, May 24, 2009

If Penelope was a Painter: Dionne Simpson

Last fall, while working at the International Caribbean Art Fair in New York, two exciting things happened. One: I got to meet the famous director/Haitian Art collector Johnathan Demme, and two: I discovered the work of Jamaican-born and Canadian-bred artist Dionne Simpson. The fair itself was a poorly-attended let down, but Ms. Simpson's work was anything but.  Beginning with your average canvas on stretcher surface, Simpson doesn't simply pile on the paint, but rather pulls threads out of the canvas (thus, the classical reference in the title) and adds a variety of materials back into and on top of the screen she creates.  The photographs of her work simply don't do the delicate surface justice; let's just say they look so good in person I seriously thought about blowing a chunk of my savings on one, but sadly for me and my walls, poverty and practicality prevailed that particular day.

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