Penny Cagney is an artist who works across mediums and resides in Santa Cruz, CA and Tempe, AZ. She explores interior states through the surface of the female body. Because of a woman’s reproductive abilities, she has been bound to the animal body–she is considered inferior to the man, who dissociates himself from his base nature. Her physical attractiveness, however, linked to reproduction, is prized. Despite this, the female body is neither passive nor mute. It is eloquent on the injuries it sustains, and articulately protests the cultural expectations imposed upon it.
Cagney’s figurative work has been primarily in the traditional mediums of easel painting and drawing. In her current work she pours glue and paint that dry into ‘skins’ that integrate unexpected effects of color and texture that suggest the natural irregular features of human skin–moles, freckles, scars and subtle textural and color variations–now shiny and smooth, now wrinkled and loose, now dry and scaly, coarse or finely pored. ‘Pour art’ is a craft that owes its popularity (primarily among women) to the low bar of skill and low cost of materials required.
The artist received a BFA magna cum laude (Loyola University in Chicago), an MA in arts, entertainment and media management (Columbia College, Chicago) and an MFA (The School of the Art Institute of Chicago). She is new to the West Coast and eager to explore the many resources of Los Angeles, especially being part of the 18th Street community.
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