PATRICIA SWEETOW GALLERY is pleased to present Bay Area artist Jamie Vasta with her new series, Femme. In her fourth exhibition at the gallery Vasta immortalizes local drag and burlesque personalities in radiant glitter-on-wood portraits. Exhibition dates: November 7 through December 21, 2013. Reception: November 7, 5:30 - 7:30 p.m.
Inspired by 17th century royal portraiture and 19th century society portraits, Jamie Vasta staged costumed performers who have become fixtures in the shrinking San Francisco burlesque and drag communities. Her subjects include locals such as Fauxnique, Mission District resident and recipient of the Miss Trannyshack Pageant, Kitty Von Quim, Bush Street barista and regular El Rio burlesque dancer, and Bunny Pistol, director of Barbary Coast Burlesque at the historic jazz club Yoshi's. These drag and burlesque queens are known for their performances that explore the limits of femininity. "Part of what brought me to the Bay Area years ago was the vibrant arts community, and I want pay homage to that. I can't think of a more apt personification of glitter than these performers, in all their glitz and hauteur," says Vasta.
Jamie Vasta has taken the visual arts to new heights with her glitter on panel works. Her insouciant medium is fine-tuned to accentuate narrative, as in her first exhibition Mustn't, 2007. Vasta began with Angela Carter's feminist reframing of fairy tales, and ended with a magical landscape where women with mystical powers cavort in deadly play. Vasta's second exhibition at the gallery looked at adolescent females posed with their trophy kill proudly displayed. Jamie Vasta then presented her most complex series to date, After Caravaggio, a contemporary reframing of Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio's historic paintings composed with her coterie of friends and colleagues with props of today, turning gender, and context on end.
Reviews of Jamie Vasta's works include Art in America, Art Forum, art LTD, Modern Art Obsession, The Boston Globe, New York Times, SF Weekly, and The Bay Guardian. She received her MFA from California College of the Arts and is included in public and private collections, with a recent acquisition from the Berkeley Art Museum, Berkeley.