Susan J Barron’s new series “Conversations”
Two women painted by men half a century apart sit and have a conversation.
They are joined by Kahinde Wiley’s young man reclining on the grass. They look up
as to acknowledge us, the viewer. Monet’s water lilies stretch out before them.
Cezanne’s apples, Manet’s loaves of bread, and Warhol’s soup cans are their picnic.
The Road Runner zips by.
In The Boating Club a young Marilyn Monroe smiles broadly as she holds up her
bikini top. She sits between Wiley’s reference to hip hop culture and Tissot’s
interpretation of 19 th century femininity. They look up as they notice us.
Barron uses this cache of imagery to compose completely new paintings, many
referencing women painted by men over many historical periods. Barron’s
“Conversations” creates a new visual dialogue that hyperlinks us backwards and
forwards in time. Monet’s exquisite brush strokes contrast with the luminosity of
Wiley’s skin tones, and Barron mixes highbrow and lowbrow with equal delight.
Imagery of Mickey Mouse and a masterwork by David Hockney co-exist.
This reordering of aesthetic languages and art historical references, redefines figurative
works in our drag and drop culture.