In anticipation of their exhibition at Stranger Factory in just under two weeks, artist sisters Miss Mindy and CJ Metzger were gracious enough to share a few words with us about Circus:Folke! Have a read and discover their pasts, artistic passions and the types of works they’re preparing for our oh-so-fortunate eyes. Enjoy!
The circus has always been an inspiration to me, maybe because I feel like I belong in one. The gaudy glitz of it all, the silly faces and the animals that I would love to see in my own bizarro traveling show. If I could create a circus that was miniature, and hidden in some crazy little forest, surround by cotton candy eating munchkins and pixies in killer outfits, that would be the bees knees.
I decided to mix all my artistic ‘loves’ in one pot for this one …. Inkwork, sculpture and painting. I’ve created some special little ‘players’ that have their own story to tell and show a taste of the imaginary circus in my head. It’s been in there since I was kid. My sister and I would put on parades, adorn out trikes with flags, and dress up in silly outfits from ‘The crazy dress up drawer.’ I guess you can say I never really grew up, and am happy to share that with you.
I was born of circus folk – not from tight rope walkers or sword eaters – but raised in a household buzzing with eclectic, eccentric and creative band of artists, inventors, teachers, and actors that shaped my world. From an early age, all that gorgeous and weird stuff that they generated was just part of my every day visual experience. You grow up in that environment, and you can’t help it – it’s in your blood for good.
In my first show with sister Miss Mindy titled “le monde est une cirque” (the world is a circus), over ten years ago, I began expressing my views about the world through these hybrid girl and animal creatures and characters, and from there, developed a love for using these folk portraits to tell stories and document feelings. Elements of “Circus” have always remained in my work, but for this show in particular, I imagined my perfect circus would be a band of the artists, inventors, and actors – shown as hybrid human animal characters, performing/existing in beautiful, theatrical, and unusual ways – all with unique backstories. Here, I was compelled to create work that both delights and sadden the senses, that evokes a sense of theatricality and that reveals these characters as the unique, beautifully adorned, revered, or misunderstood characters they are.
They are modern folk portraits, telling stories in their tattoos, their costumes, and their sometimes precarious predicaments – perhaps not so different than us all.