Sunday, October 21, 2007

The Body as Ecotone - Part 2 - Ann Ropp

When Ann Ropp emailed, suggesting her images might fit nicely with the idea of the human body as an ecotone--an ethereal, transitional space--I immediately moved to view her Body of Water series housed at the Wynn Bone Gallery. And what I found were subverted imaginings of bodies in space, the shapes suggestive of the human form, but inhabiting space in ways not immediately recognizable. And then the title: Bodies of Water. And I began to think of her images, sometimes suggestive, sometimes mystical, as translating the body into something more fluid, more liquid than our true form suggests. But given our makeup--mostly water--I suddenly began to think of my own body differently: as a moving, shifting pond full of organisms and undercurrents and gravitational desires.

Suzanne Stryk, whose image graces the mast of this blog, says this of Ropp's work:

Looking at Ann Ropp's Body of Water series, I'm reminded of a line by author Camille Paglia: "Sex," she writes, "is the natural in man." Ropp's recent fleshy-colored watercolors of intertwining bodies and suggestively sexual shapes make the erotic natural. The images in Body of Water led me to think not only of human bodies but also of actual bodies of water, with all their inlets, pools and rivulets. The water marks and bloom of the medium itself conjure up our own anatomy as well as the geological or botanical, again connecting the human and the natural. As an artist myself, I'm aware of how these seemingly simple shapes lock the white of the page into place and how their watery matrix creates form as if it just "happened." This painterly spontaneity feels absolutely right for the sensual subject matter.

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