3S Artspace - Chromatic exhibit in the Gallery at 3S ArtspaceFebruary 11, 2019
PORTSMOUTH — 3S Artspace announces the upcoming exhibit in the Gallery at 3S Artspace: Chromatic, works by Linda Behar. The exhibit opens March 1 with an Artists’ Opening Reception held the same day, from 5-8pm. Chromatic will be on exhibit through April 7. Exhibits at 3S Artspace are free and open to the public.
Chromatic is a collaborative project and part of an ongoing investigation into the representation of women’s bodies and gender identity. This project is partly inspired by the widespread success of floral and geometric designs in coloring books, and takes a stand against the expectations of femininity.
“I am calling attention to the attitude and behaviors society requires of a woman. To be a lady, to be pleasing to society continues to be defined in a way that forces women into a small, short box--- and fashion trends and social media don’t help,” said Behar. “I don’t feel comfortable about the mold society has created.”
While studying art history, Behar learned about different body types from all over the world. She came across a post-industrial revolution study done by the U.S. government in 1940 using a sample of 5,000 women. The goal was to standardize the female body in order to create sizing guidelines for mass production of clothing. “The study was wrong from the start,” Behar said. “It was all white women, living in cities, many of whom wore body distorting corsets. The study didn’t represent the society we lived in then, nor did it get reevaluated as society changed to represent the one we live in now.”
The background in Behar’s Chromatic prints consists of traditional Art Nouveau iconography with the juxtaposition of a confident nude woman sitting in a thought-provoking pose. Behar incorporates technology into much of her art and feels it “breaks the slavery” of a singular artistic medium. Behar said, “I want to show people how mixing in technology is art.” For the figures in Chromatic, she plotted the outlandish measurements of a Venezuelan mannequin into a piece of video game software. The program has pre-installed poses for male characters which are strong, powerful, confident, while the choices for female character poses are meek and submissive. “I gave my figure all ‘male’ poses (except for one) with open body, neck and posture. We can recondition who we are as humans. We can empower ourselves on the exterior,” said Behar.
“The poses [in my prints are made up of] shapes, and ‘shape’ is both a noun and a verb,” Behar said. “To understand human behavior, it is imperative to see it as a whole. Body language gives a visual form to identity and enhances the aesthetics of communication.”
Not only does Behar incorporate technology into her art, she collaborates further, on the human level. After creating black and white prints, Behar asked women from different backgrounds, cultures, education levels, and nationalities to color in and complete the prints in whatever way they chose.
“I sent prints to women across the U.S. and around the world. I have received more than 300 images colored from family, friends, and many people I have never met who were excited to be a part of this collaboration,” Behar said. “Chromatic represents the variety of personalities and worlds in which each of us are living.”
On Feb. 9, 3S Artspace held a Community Coloring workshop with Behar, who taught members of the Seacoast community about her printmaking process and invited them to color her prints which will be on view and part of Chromatic.
“I seek to bring forward the contradictions between the expectations of society and an individual’s sense of self,” Behar said. “My goal is to create images that echo the past, confront the present, and embrace the future. I don’t think art can change society, but it can definitely start the conversation.”
Beth Falconer, Executive Director at 3S Artspace, adds: “At 3S Artspace, we seek work that sparks conversation. Contemporary art has a way to bring relevant issues to light in new ways. What I love about visual art is how your own response to the work itself can change over time. We encourage you to visit our exhibits multiple times throughout their exhibition- at lunch, after work, and, of course, at the opening reception. It’s such a treat to have this space free and open to the public. Please, take the time to spend some time with Chromatic.”
Chromatic is generously supported by Prescient Inc.
Opening Artist Reception for Chromatic: Friday, March 1, from 5-8pm. Free and open to the public. Reception wine tasting and refreshments provided by La Maison Navarre.
Exhibition Dates for Chromatic: March 1 - April 7
More info on Chromatic: https://www.3sarts.org/gallery/chromatic
Visit 3SARTS.ORG for more information.
319 Vaughan St.
Portsmouth, NH 03801
3S Artspace is a 501 © 3 non-profit arts organization dedicated to presenting and supporting bold, emerging arts and entertainment and to cultivating an informal space that celebrates curiosity, creativity, and community.
The Gallery at 3S Artspace is an incubator of ideas, facilitator of original content, and is committed to presenting a diverse representation of contemporary visual artists. Each year the gallery presents exhibitions that highlight unprecedented innovation across disciplines, celebrate artistic excellence, encourage lively discourse, and foster an unwavering appreciation for the vital role that art plays in our community.Contact:Beth Falconer, Executive Director(603) 766-3330