So my MFA show is going on right now at Fort Mason. The following is meant to go along with seeing the show:
Alice Combs’ Artist Statement
in the form of an FAQ
So who’s the dancer in the painting?
It’s me. It’s a self-portrait. But--it’s not a dancer, it’s a gymnast. Why don’t you have a look at the trophy on the opposite wall?
Is that hair or string on the pins?
It’s hair. It’s my hair. In the process of trying to teach myself some victorian hair-crafting, the method I was using to collect and store the strands is pretty much what you see scattered about the wall and responding to the architecture in the painting. The simplicity of the single taut strand between two tiny metal posts was doing something I liked and wanted to do a lot more of.
What is the chunky tendril thing above the shelf?
It’s again a collection of my own hair--and a tiny bit of my mother’s gray hair--woven in spiral staircase friendship bracelet knots. I started it in December 2014. Its working title is, i whip my hair back and forth. You know, like the catchy Willow Smith song? No? OK, well just know that it’s a whip-like thing that I am weaving out of bodily remnants.
Is that your dancing trophy?
NOT dance. Gymnastics. Look at the engraving. It’s for vault. Do dancers compete in vault?! Nope. And yes, it’s mine. I won it at 13. I took it from my parents’ house at 28. And now it’s here in front of you as art and as the thing which motivated me to do the painting.
That dancer needs some landscaping!
For the third time--gymnast!! And that’s not a question! But yes, she does (by today’s standards anyway). And that’s the point. Good on ya for noticing.