SARAH FOX: AND THEN I MET YOU
AUGUST 24 - SEPTEMBER 20
OPENING RECEPTION: AUGUST 24, 7-10 PM
ABOUT THE EXHIBITION
n the last year I adopted a son and this amazing, exhausting, life changing event has deeply shifted my work in two dramatic ways, both reflected in And then I met You. For the first time in my life, I found myself wanting to make work about love: serious, engaging, meaningful work about love. I also really started to think about masculinity. As a feminist, I started to deeply question the pressures and constraints gender norms place on little boys so early in life. Onesies covered with footballs, roaring dinosaurs, the words “Strong” or “Brave” written on them seemed so violent and hard for my sweet, tiny baby, but these are often the only options. Like most parents, I constantly think about nurture versus nature and the person my child will grow into. But as an adoptive parent, these questions are even more poignant and pertinent. In an effort to allow my child to bloom into the most beautiful, whole version of himself, I am questioning the ways we teach how to be a boy to little boys.
I’ve used horse hybrids in my work before, as a sort of gateway for little girls to access freedom from princesses and traditional beauty constraints. I am returning to the horse hybrid now in my recent work to again access that freedom for boys. Horses are an in between. They have evolved alongside humans and show up in the earliest visual depictions and stories of life, but they are often genderless—at times the definition of strength and utility, while still being prized for their lithe beauty and grace. Using these horse hybrids opens a space for me to pose tough questions about masculinity and the inherent nature of being a boy. Creating these characters allows me to imagine what it may be like to be a little boy, to try and understand what it must feel like to have pressures that force you to be hard, strong, fast, tough at such an early age. The collages, cyanotypes and animations that fill this exhibition are a result of these questions.
They are also a hope for a future I want for my son. The strange little centaurs that fill the work fight, play, wrestle; but they also sleep, dream, pick flowers and hug. They are fighters, but they are also lovers. Tender and sweet, but tough and strong. As with femininity, the truth about masculinity and little boys—I imagine—lies in the in-between. Humans are far more complex and beautiful than society’s gender norms allow for. And then I met You is an exhibition about the nature of little boys and the men that they become. It is an exhibition I made in an attempt to be a better mother and to create a safer world for my child.
Sarah Fox, 2019
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Sarah Fox’s multi-media characters and narratives are created from embodied female experience. Stories of life, loss, love and sex are told through corporeal hybrid creatures. The resulting collages, drawings, sculptures and animations suggest a childlike fairytale but with an
undercurrent of dark symbolism. Her work has been shown throughout Texas, as well as in the Kinsey Institute (Bloomington, Indiana), Field Projects Gallery (NYC), Espacio Dörffi (Lanzarote, Canary Islands), Bedsetter Art Fair (Vienna, Austria), Atelierhaus Hilmsen (Hilmsen, Germany) and Casa Lu (Mexico City, Mexico). She lives and works in San Antonio, Texas where she is the co-director of the community art space Clamp Light Studios and Gallery, the exhibitions director for the Brick Gallery in Blue Star Arts Complex and board chair of the month-long arts celebration Contemporary Art Month.
ABOUT SALA DIAZ
Sala Diaz, a 501(c) 3 exhibition space, is an experimental venue for contemporary art established in 1995. Located in the heart of the Cultural Arts District, Sala Diaz provides a unique venue for the exhibition of new and challenging work and fosters lasting exchange between our city and creative communities abroad. Housed in the same residential structure as the gallery, The Casa Chuck Residency is an invitational program through which Sala Diaz provides critics, curators and writers a haven for varied creative pursuits. Initiated in 2011, the residency honors the legacy of visionary artist, arts advocate, cultural maven and bon vivant Chuck Ramirez who died the previous year. Official residents spend one month living in Ramirez’ former abode, exploring and interacting with the surrounding arts community. Sala/Casa hosts a wide array of arts professionals in-between residencies including critics, curators, filmmakers, musicians, scholars and visual artists.
Sala Diaz is supported by H-E-B's Community Investment Program, The Lifschutz Foundation and numerous individuals including Mike Casey, Sonya Dawson, Alejandro Diaz, Lorena & Joel Dunlap, Nina Hassele, Stacey Hill, Reagan Johns, Trish Marcus & the Ramirez Family, Chris Sauter, Patty Ortiz, Brad Parman & Tim Seeliger, Patricia Ruiz-Healy, Ethel Shipton, Don Thomas & Lara Flynn Boyle and The Family & Friends of Peter Zubiate.