Monday, June 29, 2009

Denise McMorrow Mahone

I just bought-slash-won my first painting at an art auction!
It's a painting by the artist Denise Mcmorrow Mahone.
The museum hosted an event the other night for the Sherry Everett Scholarship Fund, which helps African American kids receive scholarships for college. They were setting up their silent auction items as I was leaving, and I thought, well, there aren't many people here yet, so I'll just start the ball rolling with a big near its starting price (which seemed ridiculously low to begin with). I outbid someone else by five whole dollars, and put my name and phone number down. I also bid on a cute little licorice plant for my bedroom. But sadly no one called me to tell me I had won, so I thought that was it. Then I came into work the next morning and I had won both items! I was almost excited not to have to buy them, thinking that more money had been raised with higher bids (and a little buyer's remorse). But I'm now excited to have this in my apartment. I loved that it had music pages collaged underneath layers of paint, and Italian and French texts. It's also sort of abstractly geometric, and has some slight pencil markings on top for a fancy finish.
I'm quite taken with Ms. McMorrow's installations as well, as most of her works seem to deal with topics like language, collections, obsolescence (great for you librarians out there!). I'm always curious about things like memory, spirituality, and nostalgia; even contemporary artists like Joseph Cornell and personalities like Lord Whimsy remind me of a Victorian time and place that I never experienced, what remains of creepy antique dolls, doorknobs, old books, lace, garden tools. I know they've been capitalized in movies and retro-lifestyle magazines, but I can't help feel a certain attraction to their well-lived lives. In a way, it's a nostalgia for a life you never lived. In short, I can't wait to look at the painting for a long time as it now lives with me. Come visit it!

(Above: the painting I purchased, Los Vestigios: Even; copyright Denise McMorrow Mahone.)

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