7/11/09 2:20 PM
I have no idea who Meagan Evans and Roberta Calindrez are, but in a pair of heavily painted panels that Vincent Martinez has titled with their names, they seem to stand for the before and after of feminism. The more overt of the pictures illustrates the spines of a towering stack of new and old feminist books, from Virginia Woolf’s “A Room of One’s Own” through Gloria Steinem’s “Outrageous Acts & Everyday Rebellions” through Luce Irigaray’s “A New Mythos.” The depiction is messy and human, the paint sticky and thick, implying all the flesh and blood of real-life women that the books themselves address. The second panel, painted in much the same hands-on manner, shows the heads of two women, presumable the Meagan and Roberta of the diptych’s title. They could not be more different: one emerges as if from the shadows, a mysterious and sober figure in black, with a few facial details highlighted in grey; the other appears full-on, headstrong in a rainbow of hues, her smile toothy and bright, her hair a mess of rainbow streamers. One, it seems, was born too early for the lessons of these books to become part of women’s everyday lives; the other, lucky her, doesn’t even need to read them. And she most likely hasn’t: unlike the first woman, whose single visible eye is clearly open, the second has had hers completely obliterated, washed out with white paint. Blind luck, indeed.