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Curated by Harmony Hammond

Born in Patterson, New Jersey in 1949
Lives and works in Galisteo, New Mexico

'The paintings I make are often a direct result of my communication with the model who might be male or female. In the case of Tefillin,the model 'M' had been brought up in a small strict Swedenborgian community. As a teenager, she rebelled, left the community, explored her own bi‑sexuality and slowly discovered her liking for bondage and specific role playing. She said that bondage allowed her to feel secure and placed a defined border on the mysterious and often unsettling qualities of intimate exchange with another person.

While talking with 'M' I started to think about the ritualized wrapping that is part of various religious ceremonies and in particular the Jewish ritual of wearing a phylactery when praying.The ritualized constriction of a narrow leather strap, wrapped around the arm three times, metaphorically binds the follower to God. The word 'tefillin' in Hebrew means prayer. Women are not allowed to wear a phylactery.

I am interested in all ritualized forms of existing. I felt that 'M' hadn't really liberated herself from the constraints and confinement under which she grew up, but had substituted a new restriction. At the same time, in making the painting, I wanted to stress the self‑imposed nature of bondage and to make a statement about the beauty of the idea of binding oneself to spirit or God".


1999 OiL on canvas 82"x 42"

Courtesy of Turner Carroll Gallery



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