Combining motherhood and an art practice is difficult. It is also exhilarating, funny and meaningful. In Maternology, Robin Arnitz continues her exploration of identity in light of becoming a new mom with a nod to some of her favorite artist/moms; Laurie Simmons, Wangechi Mutu, Kara Walker, and Elizabeth Murray. She crafts a collection using humor, empathy and a toolbox of artistic skills.
As always, Arnitz gives her images breathing room allowing us to focus on the pertinent details. Mirrors, frames, flowers, faceless figures, quotes and subtly nuanced postures tell the story. Her assured use of a variety of mediums contribute to the content. In the darkly humorous Enjoy the Moment and Treat Yourself Like You Would a Good Friend, bold painting is coupled with decorative backgrounds and ironic quotes reminding us of the commercialization of motherhood. The contrasting elements of Fitting, not quite painting or drawing featuring sketchy lines, milky white paint over the face and small accents of red, resonates with indecision and angst. A trio of watercolors and collages with expressively nuanced figures and subtle placed quotes speak to the personal. A curious plaster cast torso is cut open revealing a tangle of unlit wire lights and a cavernous opening to emptiness. Titled Aphrodite, perhaps it is a critique of beauty or a requiem for the passage of time.
There is confusion and nerves in the exhibition as well as exuberance and creative passion. Arnitz leaves us with optimistic and realistic ideas about the undertaking of parenthood as well as thoroughly convincing us that she will do just fine juggling the role of artist and mother.