Artists Erin M. Riley and 4%ers Curator, Rachel Ralph, recently discussed a variety of things from the grey area of women in a mens art world to not identifying with the word 'feminine'. Stay tuned as we prepare for this years 4%ers group exhibition opening tomorrow night and be sure to learn more about the talented artists that is Erin M. Riley in this interview with Rachel below!
Alexandra Levasseur | Andrea Wan | Angela Fox
Anne Harris | Beryl Fine | Erin Riley | Hanna Yata
Ileana Tejada | Kate Klingbeil | Kit King | Lauren YS
Marina Capdevila | Meryl Pataky | Nicomi Nix Turner
Noel Morical | Rebecca Morgan | Sheryo
Stacey Rozich | Winnie Truong
In an effort to understand the "hysterical" minds of this year’s group of 4%ERS, I got the chance to ask them each a few questions on themselves, their work, and the art world from their perspective. With such a diverse group of artists, I wanted to draw some connections, create some continuity, and just see what these artists have to say. No one ever shattered a glass ceiling without asking any questions first. - 4%ers Curator, Rachel Ralph
Check out Rachel's recent interviews for the upcoming 4%ers group exhibition with - Lauren YS | Beryl Fine | Alexandra Levasseur | Kit King | Hannah Yata | Kate Klingbeil | Ileana Tejada
Be sure to join us for the opening reception of the second annual 4%ers group exhibition curated by Rachel Ralph coming to Athen B. Gallery tomorrow night, August 13th, 2016 at 7pm. To receive a preview of the exhibition contact firstname.lastname@example.org
RR | Name/Location/Age
ER | Erin M. Riley / Brooklyn, NY / 30
Have you ever been called hysterical?
I have been called crazy.
How do you feel being a woman has affected your art making?
I am very emotional, literal, expressive, insecure, all things that come with being a woman sort of.
How do you feel being a woman has affected your art career?
There are much more grey areas as a woman existing in a man's world, add the layer of being a poor woman and it gets even worse. I have had to put up with a lot of disrespect and sexual harassment that I don't normally put up with in my day to day life so that I could make rent and eat. Its pretty annoying, the stigma of using sexuality in your work pigeonholes you but I learned pretty quickly to recognize when a gallerist was interested in my work simply because it arouse him/her.
Do you think your creative process has anything to do with you being female?
My process is quiet, repetitive, sometimes aggressive, challenging, it involves a lot of math, I don't really think about my gender very often though so I have no idea.
There are a lot of feminist layers in your work and it’s not useful to parse them, they work so effectively together. But from your medium in weaving to your depicted content, you are constantly working with contemporary femininity. What drew you to this subject in the first place?
I don't relate to the word "feminine" although I understand where that comes from. I think being a woman is much more gruesome and aggressive and messy than feminine really portrays. We are all body, from the hormones, the bloat, the menstruation, the wetness from arousal, we exude smells and pheromones, we are much stronger and solid than many people understand. I wanted to express how trapped it feels to be stuck in these words that denote tea parties and smelling like flowers.
It was said that the malady of hysteria could be cured or at least subdued with a sexual release, often in the form of a genital massage from the diagnosing physician. Your “Year of Porn” series not only depicts they physicality of sex, but it also comments on our obsession with this release. Do you think a sexual release can help us maintain our sanity? Why did you choose lesbian porn for this series?
I am SO self pleasure positive. I think there would be so much more equality in the world if men were taught to wait or made satisfying their partner a priority in sex. Heterosexual sex is so penis in vagina heavy which denies the basic biology of women and makes it a mostly disappointing endeavor. There are strides being made to include women's pleasure into the equation more though. My Year of Porn series is an ongoing body of work woven from the moment I climax while watching porn on my phone. Most mainstream porn is made for men so while there is a lot in girl/girl porn that is for a male viewer, the odds of clitoral stimulation is way higher. I am also bisexual and most porn dicks are freaky, so there's that
Your work operates in a world of pleasure. They are pleasurable to look at, the subject matter is often of very pleasurable things, and they would probably be pleasurable to touch (I know they are because I got to hang yours last year!) Do you seek to expose this unabashed hedonism? Is it something you experience in your life away from the loom?
I am a very sexual person, I started masturbating at a really young age, I also have never drank/done drugs so besides eating or sleeping I derive most of my satisfaction from sexual encounters and adventures. I am hoping to be encouraging and supportive of sex positivity and the fun we can all be having if we understand our bodies more and seek out partners who understand our needs.
Have you even woven a depiction of a male figure?
I have back in 2010, I am starting to weave more penis's in the future.
Because they are fragmented, cropped images, you aren’t making portraits, and to me it helps me see them as bodies rather than as specific people. Where do you get your source imagery? Who are these figures?
The bodies are mostly found/collected or submitted, or taken of me. I see myself reflected in most people as our base needs are very similar across the board.