Bostic’s exhibition at the Flood Gallery (opening September 17) is not necessarily new work, rather it is a forty-year exploration of female sexuality.
The need to appear desirable is so great that it often exceeds desire itself, which indicates that female sexuality is so powerful it is intimidating. It encompasses issues of body image and self esteem that is affected by all kinds of social, cultural, political and religious opinion or input.
“Growing up, people of my generation didn’t talk about female sexuality,” says Bostic, “and it was still awkward for people of the generation following mine. It’s like you almost have to get to a certain age to be able to comfortably discuss it.” Historically there has been a sort of ‘purity standard’ recognized by American Culture that inevitably left many young women coming of age with feelings of shame. In Bostic’s youth things like spaghetti strapped tank tops, and bikinis were frowned upon, and remaining sexually pure for marriage was encouraged, even expected. Today, while things have progressed, the rape culture and slut shaming that is still overwhelmingly evident indicates that much work remains to be done.
“Red, the color of blood is a color frequently used to depict women. It’s a color of exposure and as such it’s a very vulnerable color,” says Bostic, “think red lipstick, red lingerie, red shoes, do you see? Red almost indicates sex, if nothing else it’s at least a connotation of the word,” she finished.
So where does today’s generation fit into this conversation? Is female sexuality culturally relative anymore? Is the work that has been done to dispense with negative stigmatisms by Bostic’s generation been effective? Does the conversation today, between genders and generations shed new light on this intriguing subject matter? Is there an openness today that never existed in the past, in discussing other types of sexuality?
Linda Larsen, artist and friend of Connie Bostic says this: “Throughout the years I have unsuccessfully tried to explain the power Connie Bostic’s painting holds. In her latest, and possibly oldest body of work, RED, it is finally becoming clear that she is, and always has been, a symbolist; an eloquent, fearless one, not the romantic or sentimental sort. Throwing formalism to the winds, Bostic reaches deep into her feminist roots and offers, for those of us who care to look, another complex human conundrum with which to grapple.”
Connie Bostic: March 2nd, 2013 --The Gun Show
6pm-9pm--On View until March 30th, 2013
Connie Bostic is considered by most, the President Emeritus of all things ‘art’ in Western North Carolina. She opened the first contemporary art gallery in Asheville, Zone One, more than thirty years ago. Her work spans decades and is filled with social and political insight.