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©2013 Petra Varl
I Always Get What I Wish For. Gallery MC, New York, 2012
(Drawings and Serigraphs)
MC Gallery, New York, 2011
Equrna, Ljubljana, 2012
For her first solo exhibition in New York, “I Always Get What I Wish For,” Petra presents two distinct bodies of work, both featuring her signature stylized drawings of ordinary people in everyday situations. These latest, large format drawings on primed wooden panels, subtly address the ambiguities in our concept of identity by showing moments in the lives of her figures that are both intimate and yet openly visible.
In one part of this exhibition, Petra draws almost identical figural pairs that express conflicting messages. The figures, such as the men flexing their biceps or the two sitting nudes, both embody yet playfully challenge many of society’s deeply embedded stereotypes.
In a series of smaller pairs of similar, but not necessarily identical drawings, each pair works as a kind of intellectual spot-the-difference exercise. The differences may be small, but their implications can be vast. As always, Petra’s figures are placed against a stark, empty background; her line is bold and clear, refined to the bare essentials, and draws the viewer compellingly into the narrative.
The second part of the exhibition, which features the wall drawing “Little Girl with a String,” tells a story with autobiographical undertones. The string in the girl’s hands is at first broken and held in a seemingly weak grasp. But as the girl strengthens her grip, she takes control of the reins. In her entanglement with life she has perhaps found a way to dispel uncertainty and link herself more closely to others and to the world.