This past week artist Jo Ann Callis and director Rose Shoshana visited Cincinnati, Ohio for a special FotoFocus lecture at the Cincinnati Art Museum on 24 February 2016.
Jo Ann's work has had a resurgence of popularity in recent years. Historically, during the 1970's, when Jo Ann was creating her provocative and playful photographs, feminism and women photographers were often criticized. Open sexuality asserted by a female was a taboo subject, thus was overlooked by major museums, curators and collectors. Jo Ann then began teaching at California Institute of the Arts with minimal exhibiting. She shares, “I was showing work, but not that particular work so much. Because I thought, ‘This is a really bad thing,’ — I got embarrassed about it.”
When Jo Ann moved to Los Angeles in the '73 she studied with Robert Heinecken, a professor who saw her inherent potential and her interest in fabricating imagery with tactile qualities.
“I was always interested in how things feel,” she says from Los Angeles. “That one (‘Hand and Honey’) was about how beautiful — and wasteful, of course — it was to spill out some honey, see where it goes and put your hand in it. You can imagine how it smells — it has a very sweet smell. And you can feel putting your whole hand in this thick, sweet pile of honey.”
Jo Ann is currently teaching at CalArts and has been exhibited widely in the States including The Contemporary Arts Center in 1983, solo and group exhibitions at The Cincinnati Art Museum and here at ROSEGALLERY. Jo Ann's retrospective Woman Twirling was exhibited at The J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles in 2009.
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