Mara Baldwin is in Mimi’s Attic

How to remember your dreams 100" x 75" disarticulated fitted bedsheet 2010

Mara Baldwin is an artist I met this weekend at Mimi’s Attic, my favorite local thrift store. She’s a graduate of the Californian College of Fine Arts (CCA) and works with textiles, drawings, watercolor and sculpture. Her art is phenomenal, not only aesthetically, but intellectually as well.

Look at the bedsheet she artfully – and painstakingly – deconstructed in the image above. Can you believe that it is really one of these flowered fitted sheets, the ones the local thrift shops sell? Below is how I saw it this weekend: hung in Mimi’s Attic where it blends and stands out at the same time:

That was not the only bedsheet hanging. Below she took the time to cut our hundreds of small flowers from another sheet:

This is fabric manipulation at its best. I loved that all the cut pieces were scattered underneath a set table, as if the flower petals had fallen of the bedsheet after a spring breeze.

Here is what Mara says about the exhibit:

This has been an interesting project for me as a way to recontextualize many pieces that I’ve hung only in gallery spaces previously.  Since most of my works are made with second-hand materials it has felt, in a way, like I’ve released them back into their natural habitat.  My current studio practice engages with and intervenes upon objects from domestic life and the narratives of women, both real and imagined.  The installations at Mimi’s Attic reflect an interest in the palpability, previous ownership, and narrative potential of thrift.

I like the “narrative potential of thrift”. I always wonder why certain objects exude “power”, e.g Boro textiles, while others, no matter how carefully crafted feel lifeless and dead. Mara’s work clearly has power.

The top image is her Möbius strip and below is one of my favorites:

How to remember something quickly (with detail) installation varies pillow, 300-1000 hand-rendered geese, silk pins 2010

Find more information about Mara’s work here.

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5 Responses to “Mara Baldwin is in Mimi’s Attic”

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  1. Wow! Utterly amazing! What an interesting take on the world. Fabulous technical skills as well.

  2. Katie says:

    These are just…wow! I love these pieces. Incredible!

  3. Ric Fink says:

    I think Mara Baldwin is an artist to watch, for sure. She is incredibly innovative and open to what she feels, and how to convey it in a form of art. I saw her work in San Francisco and think she has amazing creativity and skill in the creation of her work. I look forward to more !

  4. Suschna says:

    Wunderschön. An der weißen Wand scheint es besser zu wirken. Obwohl ich es toll finde, am “Ursprungsort” auszustellen kommt das Besondere doch erst heraus, wenn es in einem leereren Umfeld ist. Das wundert mich immer wieder, wie die Umgebung ein Werk hoch- oder runterziehen kann. Man sagt ja, ein Werk soll für sich selbst bestehen können, aber mir scheint, das klappt selten.

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