Peregrine Honig’s latest collection of large-scale oil paintings transform into backdrops for donor selfies; self-portraiture destined for digital immortality. With the use of Western religious iconography to create temporarily mounted parlors and paintings that feature large decorative rings and central radiations, every sitter becomes contextualized as a saint, royalty, or deity. Wreaths of flowers crown seated or absent central figures. Occupied or empty, the pieces offer a curated private space in a public gallery setting.
Honig’s twofold exhibition focuses not only on our contemporary digital identity but also sexual identity — a common motif in her work. Its title, “Unicorn,” is a term used within the transgender community and also the title of a key painting in the show, a formal portrait of a young trans person, sitting in nature surrounded by a floral wreath.
Honig is an American artist currently living and working in Kansas City, Mo. Originally from San Francisco, she attended the Kansas City Art Institute. Honig first came into the spotlight when she became the youngest person to have a work in the Whitney Museum’s permanent collection. In 2010 she was thrust into the public arena as the runner-up in the first season of the reality TV show Work of Art. “Unicorn” is her first solo exhibition in Kansas City in over a decade.
“Unicorn” by Peregrine Honig
1600 Liberty St., Kansas City, Mo.
October 24-December 6, 2014
See more of Honig's work on the following pages >>>