What’s a breast to do? They’re sexualized, inflated, objectified, and stuck in a pair—and yet, all our bodies come with them, regardless of gender. In a trio of works by Maddison Bethel-Brown, breasts are the constant, but they may not be the breasts you know. Or maybe they are, the ones you really know. A triptych of photographs overlaid with text suggests an ambiguous love triangle involving pancake syrup, houseplants, a penchant for hot pink, and at least two women, both of whom are admirably comfortable when topless. “Mountain,” an enormous photo of a single hazy breast, its dark brown glossy nipple hard like rock, is as studious as an Avedon portrait, and in its singularity heartwarming for the mastectomy survivor. If that doesn’t get you close enough, enter “The Areola Effect,” a room lined with a diverse array of ten areolas, printed large and hung high, as if they were looking right back at you. Think about that next time you stare.
—Lori Waxman 2019-05-01 10:25 AM