Review of Lee Materazzi’s “I Fucking Love You”, Gilad Segal @segalprojects

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Orange, Prints, Animal and Masking Tape, all 2020, all C-Prints, by California based artist Lee Materazzi. Currently on view at the Eleanor Harwood Gallery is a brilliant new exhibition by Lee Materazzi. Titled, "I Fucking Love You," the exhibition presents over a dozen new photographs of the artist contorted, bound, painted, and covered in stickers. The images are beautiful, offering an easy gateway to the artist's deeper reflections on motherhood, womanhood, and the physical imprint left by acts of domesticity. I was fortunate to write the introductory essay to Lee's 2011 book "Spaces with Meaning.” In those early works, Lee photographed herself and her mother, both executing and being consumed by domestic chores. Her newest work is her most personal yet. I think any parent could look at works like "Masking Tape" and "Animal" and feel a bond with the artist. Brilliant and beautiful, the artist has literally been mummified – or mama-fied – by her children. The images speak to the bodily sacrifice of being a parent, expressed through Materazzi's physicality within the work. In a poem by the artist that accompanies the press release, Lee states, "I become decorated, celebrated, sparkly, mutilated, and destroyed." One could easily argue that this line describes the journey of motherhood; our children taking (and given)all our physical strength so that they can thrive. Through the colorful and cheerful material choices utilized in her work, It feels as if Materazzi collaborated with her children, their stickers and colored tape becoming the vehicle through which to bind and bury their mother. Lee has inferred the next generation in her work, much like she did about herself in her earlier collaborations with her own mother. A final gift comes in the form of the artist's revelation as to why we capitulate to domestic responsibilities and personally sacrifice our physical self for our children and partners. It's a simple and powerful motivation that comes from the very title of the show, I Fucking Love You. I fucking love this show. #curator #artconsultant #artcollector #contemporaryartist #photography #motherhood #sacrifice #power #women #children #leematerazzi

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Gilad Segal
Writer/Curator/Consultant
@segalprojects