Materazzi works using medium format photography to document her own performance, installation, and sculpture. Her practice is hybridized, somewhere between performance and formal portraiture. Her use of compositions, color and form almost trick us into not seeing the conceptual content of her work. The seductive bright colors ease us into looking, and then the images point us to the deeper considerations within her work. The bending, the pretzeling of motherhood, and womanhood is so much what these works are about.
Using everyday objects and materials she covers herself in masking tape, or paints her entire body making herself match the other objects in the image. She folds her body through a chair in Bent Over Chair, tapes herself to a wall in Duct Taped to the Wall. As she folds and paints herself into what sometimes feels uncomfortable and masochistic, is she still loving herself, loving her body as a generative tool, and as a medium? Her title, I Fucking Love You addresses this in part. The profound implication, that a woman whose work uses her own body, and never really points to another, aside from the funny inclusions of the remnant action of her children putting objects on her body (googly eyes all over her nude back) and maybe the fluids of conception, might be saying I Fucking Love You to herself is so delicious as an idea. Is she telling us she fucking loves herself?!
Or is she pointing to the security of a relationship where that can be said to another and that one still feels it, a sentiment so intense one needs to swear, because the feelings are that explosive, or alternatively maybe it’s a statement to herself. Self love, I Fucking Love You, said to the mirror. She also certainly loves her kids, whose near invisible roles in the art-making are recorded with permanence. She points to so many ways to love and to be so fierce and unreserved. Materazzi brings us there and points to the space that we may be numbed-out to. Have we said I Fucking Love You lately, to another or to ourselves?
Eleanor Harwood Gallery is now open to visitors by appointment. Masks and appointments are mandatory!
Lee Materazzi: I Fucking Love You
Exhibition has been extended through June, 2020.
Eleanor Harwood Gallery
1275 Minnesota Street, Suite 206
San Francisco, CA 94107