Chiarina Loggia

A printmaker's progress


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Tuesday Tales – The Woman In the Mirror


Inside, Outside

Inside, Outside

 

The mirror is a common motif in my mother’s artwork.  It was prominent, obviously, in her mirror-themed exhibit.  Mirror images are not only a necessary part of the printmaking process, but also appear in many of my mother’s prints to distort and mystify images.  I have seen her hand write paragraphs in mirror image so that they will appear inverted in her prints.  Symbolic mirrors also abound in her work.  Her pieces, such as Inside Outside, often play with duality.  The left-hand-side, monochrome portion of this piece, what I choose to be the Inside, is presented in the first-person.  This face looks as though it might be looking in a mirror, like this is how my mother sees herself.  The face on the right-hand-side, however, is looking away, is covered, is in color.  This second, Outside face might be how others see her, might be her in the ‘real world.’  Because her gaze is not present here, this version of my mother is more objective.  Her own judgement doesn’t give this half of the print any bias since she doesn’t witness it like she does when her mirror image is presented in monochrome.  Which side is the truer version of my mother?  How do mirrors change who we are?  Mirrors provide one of the only ways to look at ourselves, yet many people perform for themselves when they look into mirrors, so how honest can this view be?

I am currently working on a short story (spoiler alert) in which the protagonist is a young girl’s imaginary dragon.  This dragon doesn’t know what he looks like.  He has never looked into a mirror.  As the story progresses and he finally gets a glimpse in some particularly reflective water, he sees himself, not as her imaginary dragon, but as the monster that lives under her bed.

So does looking into a mirror allow my mother to see her true self?  Or does looking into a mirror transform her into something else?

Inside, Outside, an 8″x10″ photopolymer gravure etching, is offered this week at $200, unframed.


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Photo Fridays – For My Mother


Esterina

Esterina

Last January was my mother’s 75th birthday and so I decided to make a trip out East to visit her then instead of my usual summer visit. The snowstorm that greeted me and remained my constant companion throughout my trip reminded me why I never visit that time of year. But being there for this milestone was important to me.

I wanted to give my mother something special for this birthday but finding the right gift was not easy. My mother is exceedingly difficult to find presents for and her appreciation and understanding of my art is not always strong. But I was involved in a cultural exhibition at the time and I had to choose a theme for my own culture. I decided to focus on my own family and our emigration to Canada. While researching the subject matter for this one piece I came across this photo of my mother. It was taken when she was very young and still unmarried (sometime before 17) and while she was still in Italy. I fell in love with the softness and innocence of her expression. I decided to make a print of the photo ( see below) and give it to her for her birthday. I am happy to say that she was thrilled with it, immediately hanging it up on her wall. The warmth of her reception made it worth braving the cold days of my visit. (And I bought a splendid new coat to boot!)

Esterina

Esterina

Happy Mother’s Day to all mothers out there!


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Tuesday Tales – When Moms Fly


Rain Dance

Rain Dance, detail

Today’s post is a guest post, written by my daughter while I’m up in the air off on an adventure. I’ve chosen this piece for her to write about in honour of Mother’s Day which is fast approaching. I thank her and look forward to reading what she has to say!

Daniela here.  Of course, I am publishing my Mother’s Day tribute post a day late, so this week I have a Wednesday Tale to offer.    I usually make my mom pancakes for Mother’s Day, but this year she will have to endure the unsalted bread she has condemned herself to while on vacation.  Some of the ingredients she will enjoy would undoubtedly make me cringe (porcini, nero di seppie), but for the most part, I am jealous of all the food she will have access to.  My approach to food, along with many other habits, has undeniably been influenced by my mother.  Today’s piece, Rain Dance, makes me think of how much I am like my mother, how much more I notice all the ways that I have inherited her.  The way that the son and mother in Rain Dance mimic each other’s stances, the way their right feet are both crossed and their heads both face down, reminds me how much I have learned to copy from my own mother.  The way I sniff, sigh in annoyance, hate packaged soup stock, or love science fiction, for example, are all borrowed from her.  These preferences and habits that have defined me among my friends are also what connect me to my mother.  I will realize that a quirk I have which I thought made me unique is really just a second-hand habit, a tribute.  I will realize that I am inescapably becoming my mother, but sometimes, she also becomes me.  Our shared appreciation of Linkin Park (many, many years ago) is proof of that and is something I think we both try to forget.

So Happy Mother’s Day, Mama, I told everybody that you like Linkin Park.

 

Rain Dance, an 11″x14″ mixed media monotype, is offered this week at $250 unframed, or $300 framed.