Seeing as I was over in Chelsea on Monday to see the Tim Hetherington retrospective (see HERE), and I was already soaking wet from the rain that was coming at me from all directions I decided to stop by the Fred Torres Collaborations gallery to see the Courtney Love exhibition that is currently showing there. I actually walked along 29th street between Tenth and Eleventh Aves a couple of times until I figured out that the gallery was actually through a small door and upstairs, on the north side of the street. I wasn't really expecting much from the artwork, so I was at the least pleasantly surprised that I actually thought it was pretty good.
My "relationship" with Courtney Love has been up and down over the years. I absolutely adored her in the early to late 90's, and still know the lyrics to every single one of her songs. I still listen to Hole on a regular basis, I mean Live Through This got me through some pretty tough times in 1994, and I have many memories attached to certain songs. Then she completely lost it and all that adoration I had for her just turned into something similar to disappointment mixed with embarrassment. At some point I think that I still hoped she would snap out of it and become slightly human again, but I really doubt that will happen anymore. I know she's been through a lot, but so have many people, including myself, and we don't become insane madwomen who pretend to be a mix between Dickens' Miss Havisham with some kind of Yoko Ono complex (or maybe the idea that she should have been Yoko Ono - the only thing that connects them both is that they both have famous dead husbands and they are both artists). I saw Courtney play with her new version of Hole a few years back, and although it was fun to see her live, it just wasn't really that good. Maybe I just grew up and she didn't, or maybe she just doesn't have what she used to... Probably the latter ;)
Anyway, I was really just expecting a bunch of childish drawings and paintings depicting girl/women complaining about being used and abused by men and society, and really just went out of curiosity and to report back to some friends in England that I had been to see it. Some of the drawings are a little on the childish side, but this actually makes them more whimsical and dreamy. It looks likes many of them were done using mainly crayons, some watercolours and some pencil. All the drawings depict pretty girls and women in different states of undress, many with sad, sad eyes, surrounded by words that are obviously lyrics from songs that already have been released, or just words that Courtney uses as taglines or thoughts to complement her drawings.
"I knew a boy he came from the sea, He was the only boy who ever knew The Truth about me, I'm overwhelmed and undersexed, Baby what did you expect. Your whole wide world in my hands" - pure Courtney Love song lyrics.
I'm still surprised that I liked it. The drawings are pretty and somewhat dark; imperfect but thoughtful. I like being pleasantly surprised like this - it beats being disappointed.