Power Women = Power Art

by The AFC Staff on April 9, 2015 Fundraiser


Zoe Crosher, Billboard No.3 (Washington Street & the I-10, Heading West) from LA-LIKE:SHANGRI-LA’d from The Manifest Destiny Billboard Project, 2015. Bid on Paddle8.

What does it mean to be a Power Woman? In this auction benefit for Art F City it means you’re bad ass: You make great art and have been doing since forever. You’re an influential powerhouse within the art community. You are deserving of recognition for the work you do. In short, you are nothing less than amazing.

In honor of AFC’s upcoming Power Women 10th Anniversary Benefit, we’re sharing ten artworks for auction by ten power women. You’ve got four days to bid. Better get to that.  


Judith Braun
Symmetrical Procedure NE-21-1, 2014
Graphite on Dura-Lar
21.5 x 21.5 in (54.61 x 54.61 cm)
Estimate: $5000
Current bid: $2,500
Bid on Paddle8

Judith Braun‘s career is the stuff of legends. Back in the 90’s, Braun’s career was skyrocketing. Married and exhibiting as Judy Weinperson—a feminist spin on her husband’s last name, Weinman—she developed a kind of feminist “Weinpersona”. She used photocopy, sexual imagery, and text to suggest what she describes as “a sort of female takeover of the office”. In one series Braun calls “Pussy” pieces, she photocopied cats and gave them captions like, “Black Pussy”, “Pussy from Behind” and “Shy White Pussy”.  But her prospects cooled after participating in Marcia Tucker’s widely panned show “Bad Girls” in 1994 at The New Museum. Braun’s exhibition opportunities diminished, and a year later retreated from the art world to become a faux finisher.

By the time nine years had passed, Braun had divorced her husband and had her fill of contract work. In 2003 she decided to rekindle her career. And in 2010 she starred on Bravo’s Work of Art, as the older “insubordinate”. Now she is represented by Joe Sheftel Gallery and has recently received commissions for her finger paintings and symmetrical drawings from Bloomberg Philanthropies and the Indianapolis Museum of Art. Symmetrical Procedure 21-1 follows this line of investigation, with an eight-sided circular form. A close look at the drawing reveals each careful mark, even in the darkest areas of the work. The lighter areas appear light and almost buoyantly elegant by contrast.

Deborah_Brown_Infanta_Maria Teresa_2014_oil_on_canvas_48 X 48 inches (1)-xl

Deborah Brown
Infanta Maria Teresa, 2014
Oil on canvas
48 x 48 in (121.92 x 121.92 cm)
Estimate: $9,500
Current bid: $4,250
Bid on Paddle8

Who among us isn’t awed by the force that is Deborah Brown? Let’s count the accolades: Storefront Ten Eyck founder and director. Board member of NURTUREart, BRIC Arts Media and Community Board #4. Acclaimed painter. How Brown finds a way to do as much as she does is anyone’s guess, but we’re glad she does it. This image of infanta Maria Teresa (1638-83) seems particularly appropriate for the Power Women theme of this year’s auction: As the onetime Queen of Spain, she held a real position of authority (albeit somewhat compromised due to the tradition of inbreeding within the Habsburg family). This work melds the tradition of court portraiture made famous by the likes of Velázquez and Goya with an assemblage of modern and contemporary gestures, ranging from the Cubism of Picasso to the contortions of George Condo. As such, the brushwork itself represents all the beauty and grotesqueness within the history of this figure.


Zoe Crosher
Billboard No.3 (Washington Street & the I-10, Heading West) from LA-LIKE:SHANGRI-LA’d from The Manifest Destiny Billboard Project, 2015
Digital c-print, 6.5 x 14 inches, framed, 1 of 5.
Estimate: $5,300. Current bid: $2,650.
Bid on Paddle8.

L.A.-based creative dynamo Zoe Crosher is best known for her conceptual photography projects. But the former associate editor of Afterall and AHAN award recipient makes work that reaches way beyond the lens. Her piece for auction is a limited-edition version of the billboard she created for the Manifest Destiny Billboard Project (April 3rd through May 30), a project Crosher conceived in collaboration with LAND (Los Angeles Nomadic Division). Ten artists created ten iterations of a thematic billboard design; each were posted along I-10, a stretch of highway spanning the southern US from coast to coast. The foliage in the work for auction, Billboard No. 3, looks pretty lush, but billboards four through ten weren’t so luckywestward editions of the work featured fauna in varying states of decay. California’s drought is ever present.

Croshner also made perfumes for each of the artists’ billboard designs and corresponding territory, so if yours is the winning bid, you can buy her matching Palm Springs-inspired scent online. Seriously. It smells like Lilacs.


Inka Essenhigh
Living Forest, 2011
Aquatint and line etching with drypoint
27 x 24 in (68.58 x 60.96 cm)
Framed, edition of 30, 2 of 10 AP
Estimate $2,500
Current bid: $1,250
Bid on Paddle8

Inka Essenhigh’s enigmatic paintings, prints, and drawings bring to mind the early 20th century surrealist imagery of Leonora Carrington and 19th century symbolist Odilon Redon. Or William Blake. Or Sci-Fi movie storyboards. Whatever the influence, these dreamy landscapes are the stuff of great art, whether it’s a  swirly monotype of flame-people boarding a bus, or an aquatint of a gnarly turquoise wood, as with Living Forest.

Miko Ito

Miyoko Ito
The Seawatch, 1957
Oil on canvas
48 x 35 in (121.92 x 88.9 cm)
Estimate $20,000
Current bid: $12,000
Bid on Paddle8

Miyoko Ito deals in subtleties. Her flattened, morphing shapes in The Seawatch hint at three-dimensional space. The color palette is a restrained interplay of cool, warm, and neither-here-nor-there hues. Ito worked against the grain of the major art movements of her time, eschewing minimalism, pop, and even the Chicago Imagism of her colleagues (to an extentshe’s not an Imagist per se, but their influence is evident). This has earned her great critical acclaim, as it well should. Paintings this sophisticated just aren’t that common, so when we see them, we need to applaud them.


Michelle Grabner
Untitled, 2015
Silverpoint on panel
24 x 24 x 1.5 in (60.96 x 60.96 x 3.81 cm) – 24 inch diameter, 1.5 inch depth of panel
Estimate: $10,000
Current bid: $5,000
Bid on Paddle8

Painter, curator, conceptual artist, writer-editor, educator, academic department headpower woman Michelle Grabner does it all. Her artwork is meticulously crafted and whip-smart. The radial silverpoint drawings, for example, have all the laborious articulation of domestic handicraft, with the monolithic aura of minimalist works. This simple elegance of gesture and conceit makes these works almost endlessly appealing.

Marilyn Minter_carpet-xl
Marilyn Minter
PLUSH #3, 2014
Inkjet on Matt Paper
18 x 13 in (45.72 x 33.02 cm)
Framed, 3 of 3
Estimate $6,500
Current bid: $3,500
Bid on Paddle8

Marilyn Minter’s a power woman for playing on collective cultural anxieties surrounding overt sexuality. We like to think of her fetishistic photos as glowysexygross. They’re are seductive in more ways than oneerotic imagery, dense colors, slick-looking surfaces. But they’re never exactly pretty. PLUSH #3 is an edition from a series of the same name. The title conflates an inviting texture with the taboos of female pubic hair. It also references the two former presidents of the United States. That little known political pun, though, is rarely referenced amongst the press, perhaps because many of us would like to forget those years.

Carrie Moyer
Untitled, 2012
30 x 22 in (76.2 x 55.88 cm)
Framed, Unique
Estimate $5,750
Current bid:
Bid on Paddle8

Carrie Moyer is best known for her wild colors, shapes and rioting textures (this print is comparatively subdued, but damn, if that isn’t an excellent color combo). But what might not be immediately apparent is how she cleverly integrates art-historical references and political imagery into her seemingly non-figural paintings and prints.

Power woman fun fact: Carrie Moyer co-founded one of the first lesbian public art projects, Dyke Action Machine!, active in NYC between 1991-2008. Best art project title EVER??!


Amy Wilson
Study for “The story of finding the bird with its chest cut open”, 2015
12 x 10 in (30.48 x 25.4 cm)
Estimate: $1,800
Current bid: $720
Bid on Paddle8

Amy Wilson is all about narrative imagery, text and  femi-crafts. She makes artist books with Bosch-like illustrations, filled with choruses of chatty girls and hand-written word balloons. Her work is precious in an IDGAF kind of way. We like that Study for “The story of finding the bird with its chest cut open” is a little bit dark. Plus it has that childlike, de-skilled thing going onwe secretly hope an expecting goth couple buys it for their new nursery. (What can we say? We’re weird like that.)

Fuck Photo

Betty Tompkins
Fuck Photo #7, 2003
Archival Digital Print
11 x 8.5 in (27.94 x 21.59 cm)
Framed, 15 of 15
Estimate: $2,000
Current bid: $1,000
Bid on Paddle8

Betty Tompkins started making super sexually explicit paintings back in the late sixties/early seventies. And she never really stopped. Clearly, this power woman’s got her priorities straight.

Note how the, uh, deed is gridded and cropped in Fuck Photo #7. We like the collagy effect, and that the grid and frame are like a helpful guide, just in case you weren’t quite sure what the photo’s about. It’s a great piece for a guest bathroom. Or stick it in an even more prominent spot when the relatives come to town.

BONUS POWER: New Additions


Untitled, 2010
Gouache on clayboard
10 x 8 in (25.4 x 20.32 cm)
Estimate $3,500
Current bid: $1,400Bid on Paddle8
Dark Mountain, 2014
Oil on canvas
36 x 36 in (91.44 x 91.44 cm)
Estimate $2,500
Current bid: $1000Bid on Paddle8

I’m not going to mince words here: these pieces are incredible. They are in the AFC office now, and we’ve all spent more time than we have looking at these paintings because they are that good. Don’t miss them.

BONUS POWER: Partners in Crime


Aguayo, 2013
Oil and Acrylic on Wood Panel
13 x 9 in
Estimate: $1,200
Current bid: $680
Bid on Paddle8
Martha Wilson, 2014
Archival Digital Print
Work: 16 x 20 in
Frame: 18 x 22 in, 2 of 20
Estimate: $250
Current bid: $100
Bid on Paddle8
Blowing In The Wind, 2013
Archival Digital Print
Work: 20 x 30 in
Frame: 22 x 32 in, 3 of 30
Estimate: $360
Current bid: $400
Bid on paddle8

Where would AFC be without collaborators? Mysliwiec and Owett are both board members of Art F City, and Rachel Stern recently teamed up with AFC to produce our Panda Calendar. They are amazing.

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