Courtney Love opened her first art show to the public last night at the Fred Torres Collaborations gallery in New York City after much speculation and critical diffidence from part of a press that loves to see her on her knees or in compromising positions of all sorts especially after she had too much to drink…
This Rocker would probably have to spend two lifetimes proving to the media that she actually has some talent and was not just Kurt Cobain’s bimbo bride. It is sort of the Yoko Ono Complex Factor: one that is entrenched into the public psyche and it is hard to eradicate just as most prejudice is.
…Never mind that she can actually compose and perform with the best out there when it comes to Rock and Roll or that she can act (The People vs. Larry Flynt 1996), or that she can actually be thought provoking when it comes to art. Such was the case last night in NYC.
Courtney made her entrance more than an hour after the likes of Julian Schnabel looking in top shape after having shed half of himself…, Steven Klein, and Olivier Theyskens began filtering into the small studio space. “What I am is nervous. I can’t hide behind my guitar in here,” Love mumbled as she lit up a cigarette. “It ain’t a rock show, that’s for sure. I only went to San Francisco Art Institute for two years, mainly so I could get my allowance. I just wanted to be a rock star and a movie star. I wanted to either go to Miss Porter’s to be a lady, or Chatham Hall, or Interlochen, because Tatum O’Neal won an Oscar when I was two and I wanted one too.”
At the private view of the exhibition, one of the centerpieces of the show was a wedding dress onto which Love had embroidered with the words ‘fuck’ and ‘cunt’. The Galliano dress was also stained with lipstick and featured the slogan: ‘Not my cunt on my dime ( I guess she meant dying ) mother’.
the dress was originally supposed to be for Love’s wedding to former boyfriend Edward Norton. The piece is not for sale.
The rest of the exhibition is made up of pencil, pastel and watercolor drawings by Love, many of which are accompanied by Hole lyrics, with some referencing lyrics by Nirvana and Smashing Pumpkins. The show also features a drawing of Love’s friend Gwyneth Paltrow amongst the 45 pieces on display.
On how the exhibition came about, Love said, “I have two Karen Kilimnik pieces, and one day I was looking at them and I was like, ‘I draw better than Kilimnik.’ Apparently, a few art collectors agree; some of the pieces in the exhibition (there are over 45 works on paper on display) have already been sold.
looking at one of the drawings, featuring a doll-like woman resembling Love with the phrase “I’m a celebrity, get me out of here” scribbled across it in red, one could definitely say that she played it close to the cuff when it came to subject matter: #whitegirlrockerproblems.”
Love’s drawings in the whole are pretty actually with a sort of underling emotionality fraught with anxiety and scorn for what seems all too apparent. A sort of graphic diary for what has been a very colorful and intense existence so far. Working primarily with colored pencil, pastel and watercolor, Love creates highly charged dreamscapes, often containing a vibrant palette filled with gestural forms, and marks that are at times fluid, or compulsive and frenetic, which imbue a deeply moving psychological quality to the works. Above all just as Courtney has done so far, they rather bare it all reminding the viewer that deep down inside she is just an American girl….
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