The concrete walls of Hi-Temp Fabrication are weeping. That’s thanks to the Buffalo-born, Los Angeles-based artist Athena Page, whose spray-painted images of crying girls make up the latest pop-up show in the hybrid industrial and art space at 79 Perry St., in the Cobblestone District.“Sad Girls,” Page’s collection of damsels in distress seemingly lifted from the pages of midcentury comic books and blown up to Lichtenstein-esque proportions, are a tongue-in-cheek critique of historical depictions of women by male comic book artists. The show, which opened June 13, is on view through June 27.
“On almost every page there is a woman depicted in a state of distress, crying or aghast, most likely in response to the actions of the male character for whom they’ve developed a dependency,” Page wrote in a statement. “Taken out of context, this representation of the nature of women becomes silly and outdated. My practice has been to embrace it, and present it via the relatively new aesthetic of art made with spray paint.”
Page’s work also fits into the recent phenomenon of young Instagram users posting weepy or wistful selfies and labeling them with the hashtag “#sadgirls” or “#sadboys.” Page’s nod to classic images of the damsel in distress as well as this strange new digital trend can be read as a critique of the way sadness has been turned into a marketable commodity.
Those interested in seeing the work should go to the Hi-Temp Fabrication office, which is open from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Call 852-5655 for more information.
– Colin Dabkowski