Lee Materazzi– I Fucking Love You

March 7th - April 18th, 2020

About

Available Work

Eleanor Harwood Gallery is pleased to present a solo exhibition, I Fucking Love You, by Bay Area artist Lee Materazzi. The show will be on view March 7th – April 18th, 2020 with the opening reception occurring on March 7th from 6-8 PM.

Eleanor Harwood Gallery is pleased to present I Fucking Love You, our first solo show with Lee Materazzi. 

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. 

Her work has some of the uninhibitedness of Karen Finley’s performative works from the 90’s, but with lots of the painterly, structural and formal qualities of abstract expressionism, with a dose of minimalist pop when it comes to color palettes and forms. She moves easily into the territory of third wave feminism, a bit punk, a bit sexy, and all out there and unapologetic. It’s beautiful work, but also has a sharp edge to it.

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? 

 

I fucking love you
by Lee Materazzi

“Everyone knows that if you paint a human being entirely with house paint (she) will live, as long as you don’t paint the bottom of (her) feet.” – Miranda July, “No One Belongs Here More Than You”

I fucking love you.

To let you know,
I will balance everything from before,
and everything that is now between my legs.

Jugs of paint drip onto my thighs,
from the eight orifices of finger paint
in my crotch.

The walls and floor become messy.
I don’t worry about cleaning them up yet.

Instead I think about the materials
soaking into my skin,
the history imbued in them,
and what they signify to me.

Are certain mediums still attached to gender?
Are certain genders still attached to power?

I put on a fresh coat of paint
so many times that it buckles and cracks the space around me,
exposing each and every gesture.

Layers of layers.

To be submissive.
Tied down.

To be held up
I tape myself to the wall,
bend over backwards,
between a chair,
as I straighten a crooked frame,
to be at liberty to place myself.

This series has been made in part with my children.
In some ways they are absent in the works.
In some ways they are present in everything I do and represent.

They made art out of my face
with permanent marker.
I want their impressions to last.

Animal stickers and masking tape help me to hold my place.
Hundreds of eyes cling to my back and keep watch.
I become decorated, celebrated, sparkly, mutilated, and destroyed.

They put rainbows in my eyes.