Perin Mahler, Practicalities, 2007

Mahler’s autobiographical paintings are fascinating. In this work we are confronted with piles and piles of stuff. There are kid’s toys, a full garbage can, kitchen items, laundry, etc, and among the wreckage lies a woman who is either overwhelmed by the mass or is hiding in it. In the bottom right hand corner of the canvas we see a man’s legs and part of his arm; he seems to be leaning forward, assessing the situation.
Mahler says “I’m interested in the idea of responsibility both in the sense of physical care, with its concomitant associations of anxiety and fatigue, and in the habits and personality traits bequeathed through heredity. These works, almost as much still life as figure compositions, use objects to represent the burdens of domestic life.”

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