Thursday, February 12, 2009

Mark Your Calendar: Lisa Congdon at BellJar

Opening tonight -- Thursday, February 12 -- at San Francisco's BellJar: Lisa Congdon's Love Me Not, a modern reinterpretation in painting, illustration, collage, and shadowbox of the lush, effusive, and slightly bizarre Valentine's notes of the Victorian era.

Here, Congdon explains her inspiration for the show: "Valentine's Day reached its height of celebration in the Victorian Era. Valentines cards were produced in tens of thousands, from whimsical to slightly vulgar. Their designs included lace paper, embossed envelopes, glass or metal mirrors, ribbons, real feathers, and flowers or dried ferns. Chubby, adult-looking children called cherubs adorned them. Just as important as the decoration are the unabashed pleading for affection and pledging of undying devotion that accompany traditional Valentines.

In Love Me Not, I explore both the traditional decor and subject matter of Valentines from the Victorian Era along with common Valentines sentiments and proclamations. In some cases I have taken the gaudy decoration and purposefully toned it down to be more austere to play with the viewer's sensibilities."

There will be an opening reception for Love Me Not this evening from 6 to 9 p.m., and the show will be up through March 11. BellJar is located at 3187 16th St. at Guerrero in the Mission.

Check out more of Congdon's work right here.

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