Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Amy Stein in Fairy Tales, Monsters, and the Genetic Imagination

Amy Stein. Watering Hole, 2005.

Amy Stein has two pieces featured in Fairy Tales, Monsters, and the Genetic Imagination at the Frist Center.

Of course, when one attends a curator's tour of an exhibition, your attention tends to focus on the pieces discussed. There were a few exceptions for me, pieces I will go back and study more and see what resonates when I am on my own, but I know these would have had an impact even if Mark Scala hadn't spent time discussing them. Scala pointed out that these were perhaps the least fantastical pieces in the exhibit but that is what gives them their power, too.

I found these images on Amy Stein's website and discovered they are part of a larger series titled Domesticated, all of which are viewable on her website and I recommend the click to see them.

These certainly, subtly, recall fairy tale themes, Goldilocks and Little Red Riding Hood come immediately to mind. But for me, they also reminded me of how nature is nearby, closer than many of us in suburban and urban lifestyles credit at times. I've lived within a mile of a lake for many years in my life, but spend very little time at it. The wildlife nearby is abundant. We've seen a bobcat and a wild boar as well as opossums, turtles, deer, etc. on a regular basis. Snakes are not as common, but I remember unlocking the backdoor to the house one day, years ago, and looking down to see a snake sunning itself along the threshold. Fortunately, it wasn't poisonous but we spent a few minutes evaluating each other just like the girls in these photos are doing.

The Watering Hole image above is more powerful in person because the girl's face is more visible, both startled and fascinated. You can click on it to see it larger but an original print is the best.

Amy Stein. Predator, 2006.

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