Jill Greenberg writes, "My obsession with horses began at the early age of six. What is it that makes young girls project so much onto these gorgeous animals? I drew them, painted them, sculpted them, collected plastic models of them, read stories about them, and rode them. When I saw the same thing happening with my young daughter, I decided it was time to return to my (original) muse.”
Jill Greenberg photographs horses as if they are fashion models, giving her portraits and studies of their form a fresh, dynamic edge. The beautiful detail in which she has chosen to render them – using a camera better suited to studio portraiture than a moving animal – is mesmerizing.
But the Horse project is more than a study of the physique of these magnificent creatures, it is also an exploration of the paradoxical gender identities cast onto this unique animal. While Horses are powerful, strong and muscular, they have also been made subservient, so their position in the world relates to the role that women continue to occupy. Greenberg delves into this duality within her images in the deepest way possible. Don’t miss reading her Artist Statement, linked here, to understand her work in this series on a more profound level.
"Those of us who live in cities easily forget the scale and power of large animals,” Greenberg says. And indeed, she brings their magnificence, strength, and even exquisite vulnerability to you, the fortunate viewer. "Horses are both masculine and feminine, dominant and submissive, mastered and wild,” she writes.
As we move into the lunar New Year starting today, it is the perfect time to take a moment to reflect what it means to be moving into the year of the Horse. Jill Greenberg’s gorgeous series can be seen in a gallery show starting today at the O’Born Contemporary – stop by, meet the artist herself – and see a brand new ambitious sculpture created by Jill debuting at the show.
131 Ossington Avenue, Toronto, Ontario M6J 2Z6
Opening Party Friday 1/31/2014, 6-9pm
Show runs from 1/31 to 3/15/2014