So, let’s talk about the big pink phallic symbol in the room. The Ice Box Gallery is so big it can overwhelm some artworks and the InLiquid Benefit Auction features hundreds of artworks by Philadelphia’s finest artists. How do you stand out in the crowd? Afghan Sentry by Melissa Maldonni Haims, an enormous soft sculpture crocheted with an unfathomable amount of pink yarn managed to photo-bomb everybody else like an art exhibitionist. The shape of the piece, the color and the, um, tassel isn’t just a dick joke, the symbolism comments on the male gaze in the art world and society’s obsession with sex and the struggles of women artists in particular.
Every element of the piece is loaded with coded information from the mathematical equations required to shape the afghan to the lurid hue of pink – just the word is a meme for modern society – to the domination of the space with the use of scale. Afghan Sentry mixes meta-magical thinking with craft, history and uncanny truth.
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Written and photographed by DoN Brewer.
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