BY MIRANDA SCOTT —
It is rare to find femininity portrayed as anything but soft and erotic in nature within art. In Ingrid Goldbloom’s artwork and pieces displayed at the “Underneath It All” exhibit, this is not so. Instead of allowing her art to languish as simply pretty to look at, her clever use of textures, colors and materials differ her work from what might typically hang in a gallery or home.
Goldbloom’s art is currently displayed in the “Underneath It All” exhibit at the Coconino Center for the Arts through Feb. 16. The exhibit focuses heavily on women artists who use lingerie as an art medium and subject. Some pieces are meant to come off as humorous while others are dark reminders of the conformity of gendered clothing.
The work is light-hearted due to the materials she uses, such as eyeglasses and old soda cans; however, she also adds an element of seriousness to the subject matter.
“My final piece in the show really is a social commentary on how men will often look at a woman’s chest when she is talking,” Goldbloom said. “‘My Eyes are Down Here’ is made out of eyeglass lenses that have been soldered using stained glass techniques into the shape of a bra. It pokes fun in a lighthearted way of a deeper issue.”
The focus of Goldbloom’s work is how women are told to dress and appear in society. It is divided into multiple series and each piece of art in a series relates to one another.“Steamy Lingerie”is a series in which she created bras out of radiator covers and “Trashy Lingerie” is another in which the undergarments are created entirely from recycled trash found on the beach. Goldbloom views her art as social critiques on women’s’ clothing due to the absurdity of making something supposedly about support and comfort into a tool to attract drooling men.
With the bold subject matter, it is reassuring to see Goldbloom has injected humor into her pieces, such as her “Steamy” series, which puts a comical emphasis on ladies’ undergarments and is meant to show the viewer what something commonly associated as feminine would look like if made from masculine materials.
Goldbloom’s nexus as an artist is heavily based in her use of peculiar materials, which she often buys from hardware stores.Traditionally considered a place of masculine labor and working person monotony, Goldbloom makes the tough interior of a hardware store into a creative space where every nut and bolt is suddenly the subject of millions of artistic inspiration.
“I love hardware stores; they are treasure troves for art. I love walking the aisles and seeing all the components and imagining what I could make from them,” Goldbloom explained,before saying she especially likes working with stainless steel nuts.
“I love the tactile nature of them and physically, they are shiny and beautiful. They are combinable into a variety of shapes and objects and I love that they can be transformed into something entirely different from their intended purpose,” Goldbloom said.
Her use of masculine materials shows how, despite women’s underwear being made for women’s bodies, there is still a large element of male dominance involved.
“By choosing to use uncomfortable materials to make soft and feminine lingerie, I hope to entice viewers to look closer at the material used to see it in a new light and be faced with the contrast of hard and soft, masculine materials with feminine forms, and comfort and discomfort,”Goldbloom said.
Goldbloom’s series can be viewed at the Coconino Center for the Arts along with many other artists’ work who also use lingerie as the subject.