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Sara Rafferty
Document, Chicago, Illinois
Recommendation by Robin Dluzen

Sara Greenberger Rafferty, "Picture I," 2016, acrylic polymer and inkjet print on acetate mounted to Plexiglas, 15 x 11 3/4"

Continuing through December 23, 2016

Illinois-born, New York-based artist Sara Greenberger Rafferty has a practice that spans an array of media, including performance, sculpture and installation. But here, Rafferty presents a collection of small framed works, encircling the gallery. The artist’s multimedia oeuvre has photography at its core, and this series draws from her collected images. Within the varied subject matter, a viewer can find references to the content she’s used over the years: comedy, fashion, women, TV and the web. However, these modest, wall-bound works are no typical digital prints. The images are printed on acetate, mounted on Plexiglas and covered with acrylic polymer, giving them a viscous, layered materiality more like painting than photography.

The imagery in Rafferty’s works are drawn from the familiar, but the manner in which she juxtaposes forms and distorts with her media makes them feel far stranger. In “Zippers,” small metal zipper pulls are scattered in an all over pattern, as if they’re animated and crawling over the surface of their own accord. In “Part Two I,” pages of an open book read “Part Two / The Woman as Hero”; the pages glow with an unnatural hue upon a dark ground, creating a sinister kind of ambiance that makes one wonder what’s in the chapter that follows. “Pink Picture I” layers pink female silhouettes and a low-cut top upon a screenshot of late comedian Joan Rivers at her talk show desk. This work in particular captures the essence of Rafferty’s distinct and insightful treatment of the female form: one that is both feminine and abrasive.

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