Thursday, April 30, 2009

Greta the Great

One of my studio neighbors, the gutsy Greta Bank doing a "peephole performance" Tuesday night. The Artist Studio hosted an open studio for The Portland Museum of Art Contemporaries, a group of art collectors and art lovers, and Greta decided to do this impromptu performance in her studio about "the gaze" and the relationship between the voyeur and the voyee. Greta asked me to hang around and observe the audience, remarking that this would be the most interesting part of the performance. It was fascinating and comical to watch the people watching. If Greta had simply left her door open and stood there painting in the nude, no-one would have stopped to look - they would have been too embarrassed. But with the cardboard peephole cutouts, people knew that they had permission and felt safe enough to watch. (As I type this, I am struck by the similarity between the words people and peephole... :^)
Watching Greta's performance was like viewing a living, breathing painting. It was really quite gorgeous!


Jeane Myers said...

beyond wonderful and so cool that you were able to take pictures of the people peeping! too fabulous!


Greta is Great!

artslice said...

What a great idea to do the peepholes... Indeed, Greta is a gutsy gal!

Susan Beauchemin said...

I'm amazed you could get those pictures through the hole! Good job on the photos! Yes--gutsy!

martha miller said...

hi all

thanks for the feedback!
greta tells me that one of the things that prompted this performance is her question: who ARE the naked women in all those paintings of nudes over the course of history??

and she also says this about her performance and her self-portrait:

(seeing the video of the performance) "...definitely drives home the original inspiration for making
the painting,it is the despair and truth of seeing my flesh get
older and droopier. Funny how the painting Ive done so far has been
quite soft on this....

I had a mentor in my masters program (Bailey Doogan check her out)
who does amazing stuff with self portraits and mushy bodies.......
her work got me inspired... I think youd like her alot."

Dean Grey said...


I can honestly say I've never seen a nude-peephole-artist until now!

Greta sounds gutsy, a little crazy, and like so much fun!

Thanks for sharing such a unique experience with us!


martha miller said...

you're welcome, dean - i think it's good thing to be a little bit crazy! :^)

Andytgeezer said...

What a great idea! I suppose people wouldn't stop to watch through an open door because the voyeurism is ruined when the subject looks back. A peephole creates the illusion of one way privacy. Very clever concept and on top of that Greta looks like a great painter. Gutsy