A solo exhibition at Providence College Galleries, Caitlin Cherry’s Dirtypower showcases painting installations that merge two of the artist’s recent interests—solarized imagery by Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) monitor technology, and the representation of black female bodies in the media. Using figurative painting to show black women posing in collegiate gear each artwork is rendered and wall mounted like a flatscreen television re-positioning the old idea of paintings being a window to the world, but paintings as screens. Like solarized imagery, the paintings consist of inverted kaleidoscopic color palettes. The distorted female subjects suggest stereotypes through exaggerated facial features and revealing fashion combine with serious attitude and humor as the featured women ooze a knowing awareness and rejection of objectification. With each artwork, Cherry sets up codified ideas self-possession and determination to create this timely and challenging presentation, in which art becomes a complex metaphor for the persistent overexposure and colonization of black female bodies but also a celebration of cultural reclamation and empowerment.
Cherry’s Dirtypower is organized by Jamilee Lacy, PC–G Director and Curator. The exhibition, conjunctive programming and forthcoming publication is generously co-supported by Providence College’s Black Studies Program, Center @ Moore Hall, Department of Art & Art History and Women’s Studies Program. Additional funding is provided by The Reilly Gallery Fund, a gift of the late Robert F. Reilly (PC ’42).