CFM Gallery
.236 West 27th Street, 4th Floor, New York, NY 10001 (212)966 3864.
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Lisa Lichtenfels
Realism in Fabric
April 2011

The Checkout Girl
Fabric Sculpture in Situ

In 1882, Edouard Manet painted “The Bar at the Folies Bergere.” It is a lovely painting of an opulent setting, happy customers and entertainers just beyond the frame, yet, the bartender, a lovely young girl waiting for her next customer wears an expression of profound boredom. One does have to wonder what the problem is, but my guess is that you can get bored with anything that never changes.

One day, I noticed a check-out girl watching the clock at the local grocery store, and she was wearing the exact same expression. I started looking around noticing the flat, ugly light of the buzzing fluorescents, the monotonously drab ceilings and floors extending in every direction, the rows and rows of brazenly-colored products all screaming to be noticed, and of course, the continuous blare of canned music.

Even the magazine rack was off pitch with one rag showing a very large Oprah Winfrey in an unflattering dress, while the cover just next to it presents her as incredibly thin, beautifully made up, and wearing a designer gown. At that point, I started wondering why anybody would want to work in such a place at all, and I suddenly realized that we not only can be bored by absolutely anything, but we can get used to absolutely anything as well, and we can arrive at the same state of terminal
boredom from either direction.

“Check Out” is my attempt to approach the girl of Manet’s painting from the opposite direction –- from the direction of the just awful, leavened with some humor. A grocery store is a Sargasso Sea of misguided indicators where most anybody can be lost, but a lot of people have developed ways of resisting its evil moods other than by just darting in and out. I hope to do a whole series of such people waiting for Mona’s “attention.” These figures will be modular units so they can be separated from the diorama – but no matter where they are taken I doubt if any of them will ever fully escape.

CFM Gallery
Exquisite technique coupled with artistic vision defines our user-friendly presentation of figurative fine art paintings, sculptures and original graphics. Contemporary symbolism at its apex in the traditions of Bosch, the Italian Renaissance, Art Deco, Art Nouveau, the Viennese and German Secession and the symbolist movements with an edge of surrealism.