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What Price Silence?

2020

Inspired by the stories of victims of sexual abuse emboldened to speak out by the #metoo movement.

Victims were frequently threatened, shamed, bribed or cajoled into silence. The face comes from a photograph of a doll. The lower part of her face is hidden to symbolize an enforced silence. In contrast to her downcast eyes and the sadness they exude, the other elements of the assemblage symbolize the wealth and opportunities offered to a victim in exchange for silence: the blue-gray velvet backdrop, swirls of a luxurious mauve fabric and an elegant garland blending beads of rose quartz and off-white mother of pearl, pink and white freshwater pearls, and the amethyst Murano glass beads.

The colors are subdued to indicate that the wealth and opportunities come with a price, that they are not offered freely. The frame surrounding the photograph of the doll's face has intentionally been glued to be slightly off-kilter to give the viewer a sense of instability and unease.

The necklace segment contains rose quartz (a semiprecious stone), Murano glass beads encasing silver, mother of pearl, and freshwater pearls. Additional materials used include a digitally manipulated photograph, acrylic paint, a wooden picture frame, velvet, satin and paper.

Custom framed with museum glass in a sophisticated deep wooden frame in collaboration with Chevy Chase Art Gallery, Washington, DC. .

Price: USD 3,000.

Frame color: Black

Size (in inches): 15.75 x 11.75 x 4

Framing

Though many designs appear simple, each work in fact takes several months to create. The final version is rarely the one initially envisioned; the laws of gravity force numerous adjustments. Execution involves a multitude of skills, some of which are acquired specifically to achieve the desired artistic result. In fact, it took several years of experimenting before I even hit upon a technique for creating assemblages. 

The framing process is itself a component of the work, both conceptually and artistically. Though the frame is clean and modern in appearance, the framing process is not as simple as it seems. The determination whether to create a "room" (as with Born Free) or an intimate atmosphere (as with What Price Silence) is in fact part of the artistic process.  

Works are custom framed to provide sufficient depth to accomplish my artistic goals as well as to support the weight of the work (often 40-60 pounds). The 4-inch deep decorative wooden frame curves outward to bring the work closer to the viewer.  

As many designs are supported by the base as well as the backing, the framing process can be tricky. It took several months of experimentation to determine how to create a work that it was practical to frame. The glass protects the work from damaged caused by dust and dusting.

Assemblage silver frame model.jpg
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