Q: One can’t help but make connections between the devastating effects of 9/11 and your series, “Domestic Threats.” Would they be right?February 18, 2017
A: Well, not exactly, since I began this work in 1991.
All of the paintings in this series are set in places where I reside or used to live, either a Virginia house or two New York apartments, i.e., my personal domestic environments. Each painting typically contains a conflict of some sort, at least one figure that is being menaced or threatened by a group of figures. For example, in “No Cure for Insomnia (above) the threatened figure is me. So it was an easy decision to name the series “Domestic Threats.” My idea was that these paintings were psychological dramas: surrealistic, metaphoric depictions of human fears, anxieties, inner conflicts, demons, etc.
But depending on what is/was going on in the country at a particular moment, people make other associations. Since my husband was killed on 9/11, people think the title, “Domestic Threats,” was prescient and ascribed all kinds of domestic terrorism associations to the work. For a time viewers thought I was hinting at scenes of domestic violence, but that also is not what I intended. The title “Domestic Threats” has proven to be fraught with associations that I never considered.
However, I am fine with any interpretations that are elicited because it means my paintings are getting a response. That’s important. I have been working, studying, and thinking about art for thirty years and hopefully, that’s reflected in the work I create. It’s natural that it takes time for people to ponder all the complexities in a work of art.
Maybe this comment by the late Gerrit Henry, a New York critic, is more true now than when he wrote it sixteen years ago: “What we bring to a Rachko, in other words, we get back, bountifully.”
Comments are welcome!