Friday, May 27, 2011

Cathy de Monchaux is a Jedi

Padmé Amidala looking uninviting; Cathy de Monchaux, Red (1999)

The other day I was thinking about a sculptor who's work had made an impression on me in the 1990s. I've tried to remember her name a number of times over the years, but because she used a lot of S&M imagery in her art, without her name, I couldn't think of any way to google for her without wading through hundreds of pages of violent porn (not my thing).

When I picked up Nicholas de Monchaux's book, Spacesuit : Fashioning Apollo, I thought I recognized his name and wondered what else by him I might have read. It was only when searching for images of spacesuits for the last post using Monchaux's name that I found her: Cathy de Monchaux. Although she never enjoyed much critical success, and my art school friends used to teased me for liking her at the time, her brass and velvet wall pieces kicked ass and I'm happy to learn she is still working, and that she is working in white. While I couldn't find anything she says about her reasons for working white-on-white I was surprised to learn from an interview from 2007 that her newer work was in response to the invasion of Iraq:
I have been working on these works and thinking of these issues for the past three or four years. Really, since the Americans and the British invaded Iraq again. There was a point, post-September 11 when obviously all thinking, creative, people were thinking, ‘how will this invade my practice?’
Leia Organa looking combative; Cathy de Monchaux, Sweetly the Air Flew Overhead: Unicorn Battle No. 5 (2007)

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