can you handle me?
works celebrating women’s bodies that don’t apologize for being human -
works that are humorous, sarcastic, happily tactile, assuredly confrontational, or content to be grotesque.
… can you?
Killjoy Collective is pleased to announce the public opening of can you handle me? An exhibition of new works by Panteha Abareshi, Hailee G. Evans, Tyler Mackie, Katie Piatt, and Caitlin Rooney. Please join us for an opening reception 7-9pm Saturday, December 9. can you handle me? consists of sculpture, performance, and illustrations on fabric and paper. Exhibition on view through January 9 by appointment only. Curated by Maggie-Rose Condit.
Panteha Abareshi | panteha.com
My name is Panteha Abareshi. I am an artist and illustrator currently based in Los Angeles. I work primarily in India ink, acrylic ink, and watercolor depicting women of color as the physical embodiments of the struggles I face; specifically my severe depression.
I have Sickle Cell Zero Beta Thalassemia and have suffered from chronic pain. The debilitating effects of my diseases drastically increased in the past few years. Its impact on me was significant. Living with both sickle cell and mental illness, I can (and frequently do) say that the depression hurts more.
I get asked so often, "what does the pain feel like?". When I explain how the chronic pain from sickle cell is caused, the same sympathy and kind curiosity is not extended when I speak about the suffering and turmoil I experience from my mental illness. Physical pain is easily conceivable for the human mind, and the validity of physical pain is accepted without question by society. The abstract and widely ranged nature of mental pain makes it difficult for individuals to understand and want to open dialogue about the reality of the experience.
I do not know if the English language has the capability of properly expressing the experiences, frustrations, anguish and turmoil that come with mental illness. But I have found that I am able to take distinct emotions, sensations, and struggles and say through my work “this abstract feeling is the equivalent to this tangible display of physical pain”. Cuts, bruises, bleeding. Pulling one's own tooth out, cutting out one's own tongue. These are undeniably painful acts, to put into perspective how painful my depression really is.
The women I draw represent struggle, and confusion but they also epitomize strength. There is strength in vulnerability, there is power is admitting that you are broken down. It is very easy for me to separate the human form from sexualization, even in situations of intimacy. The (hyper)sexualization of women often creates a barrier between human closeness in my experience, as it has become so ingrained in us that close+bodies=sexual. I portray women who are open and who are vulnerable, and who's appearance and emotion doesn't allow for objectification because it is so intensely human, and raw.
I strongly identify with the spectrum of aromantisicm and asexuality. I Have very strong aversions to the modern notions of romance, and my artwork is a direct expression of my beliefs that the way young people, especially girls, are taught to value, prioritize and derive happiness from “love” is damaging and wrong. I struggle with the societal standards for romance, love and sex constantly, and express that in my work because I want to normalize the notion of women/people not craving intimacy.
Hailee G. Evans | @slimesistren
Hailee G. Evans a.k.a. “SlimeSistren” B. 1992, Scorpio
Hailee G. Evans is a working artist and lifelong Oregonian. She has lived and worked in Portland since 2012. Her name was conceived in an unfortunate misspelling by her parents, who intended to commemorate Halley’s Comet, the famous rock from outer space.
Evans's work explores gender & sex, as well as other things. She works in visual mediums including pen & ink & paint & sculpture.
Ever since she was a child, Evans has been fascinated with the disharmonious metaphysics that bind one's brain to one’s body. Her work is an attempt to examine the phenomenon of Snoopy as a metaphorical interpretation of the Female God. She delights in the sucking & the fucking of/in/around the erogenous zones. What began as a personal journey has since blossomed into inspired renderings of buttocks and genitals.
Initially contemplative and innocent, her practice eventually transgressed into what it is at present, a corroded carnival of greed. Viewers of her work have described a feeling of complete barren identity, which persists until death. According to exit polling of gallery visitors, apathy is the most commonly reported emotion following the viewing of her work; however, many report that this aftertaste of indifference eventually gives way to darker suppressed emotions, which have been described as "loathsome sensations of abhorrent decadence." This trend has been consistently demonstrated through exhaustive research.
Evans draws inspiration from a diverse spectrum of influences, including Caravaggio and Jon Voight. Many of her artistic choices, including those related to style and subject matter, have been attributed to her grandiose delusions. She maintains an earnest belief that she is a princess from another planet, and the rightful heir of the solar system.
Evans has exhibited in group shows at Tecos (42nd & Powell, Portland) and the Louvre (Paris). She has been described by hundreds of credible un-credited experts as "the Greatest Artist In All of the United States of America (Excluding Alaska).” She is a recipient of a grant from Federal Correctional Institution (FCI Sheridan) where she served time following charges of serial petty theft from the gift shop of the Portland Art Museum.
Evans spends her time living between art capitals of the world and her tub, where she bathes fully clothed. Evans is of a minority of women suffering from early onset male pattern baldness; While she does not admit to it publicly, she wears a poorly constructed, low-grade wig made of nutria, to cover the uncanny shimmer of her crown and forehead. Due to the wig’s extreme fragility, she is known to leave a trail of foul dust and hair behind her as she marches about whatever space she occupies.
Her work is in the private collection of Snoopy who has been quoted as saying, "Do me! Yeah, yeah, do me! Now, [Evans's work] that's what I call Art! Arf! Arf
The home is a sphere of warmth that I treasure and upon which I fixate. Through the deployment of domestic objects and traditional handicraft, I explore tropes of comfort. These objects facilitate intimate moments of comfort that restore familiarity to the viewer.
Tyler Mackie holds a B.F.A in Studio Arts from Oregon State University (2005), and an M.F.A. in Studio Arts from Louisiana State University (2009). Her work explores relationships between performance, visual, and craft-based communities, with an emphasis on the female experience. Recent projects include Bridge for Blankets, an installation on the Broadway Bridge (2013), and ongoing creative contributions as a member of the international collaborative collective Expanded Draught (2009-present).
Katie Piatt | Katiepiatt.com
Katie’s performances, such as her Male Fragility Show, are abrasive, visceral, and thoughtful.
Katie Piatt is an artist living, playing dress-up, and telling jokes in Portland, Oregon. She explores the ideas of gender, body, sizeism, and queer identity with her extensive background in soft sculpture, sewing, and knitting as well as in her participatory performance and storytelling/comedy practice. Using devastatingly honest humor and the art of spoken word, improvisation, and the awkward silence, she tells her stories of surviving religion, abuse, misogyny, and challenges the effects of growing up a fat queer girl in the conservative Ozark hills of southern Missouri. Katie has an MFA in Visual Studies and has performed at the Banff Centre, Portland's Artist Repertory Theatre as part of the 2015 Risk/Reward Festival, PNCA, PSU, the street, the Siren Theater with her queer comedy troupe That's What She Said, and most recently at the 2017 NW New Works Festival in Seattle, Washington.
Caitlin Rooney | @oldoriginal
The semiotics of popular culture are as just as they are fraudulent.
This body of work examines this notion through appropriation and rebranding of imagery found within popular culture iconographies and banal consumerism, and how this is translated and transformed via desire, satire and varying narratives.
i.e, conscientious slang ghost riding poignant critique.
Caitlin Rooney (Milwaukee, WI) is an interdisciplinary artist currently living and working in Philadelphia, PA.
Rooney primarily works in sculpture, appropriation, drawing, installation and photography. She received her MFA in Visual Studies from Pacific Northwest College of Art and a BFA in Interdisciplinary Studio Arts and Writing from Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design. Her work examines and exploits the idiosyncratic nature of popular culture consumerism and its banal iconographies.