A Widow is a Work of Art: Peregrine Honig’s “The Widow Having a Conversation with Herself” on BRAVO’s Work of Art, Episode 2

Peregrine Honig's "The Widow Having a Conversation with Herself"

Last week on BRAVO’s art reality television show, Work of Art, Peregrine Honig eased into the third round with nary a glance from art critic Jerry Saltz and nods from her fellow contestants.

BRAVO isn’t getting much play from Peregrine. She doesn’t shit-talk the other contestants. She shows up to the studio with a smile, ready to play and have a great time making art.

Like much of her work, including her 2007 solo show at gescheidle gallery, Pretty Babies, which I reviewed for Time Out Chicago, her art succeeds because it doesn’t ask for attention. It’s easy on the eyes and that’s why people return for a second, third, fourth look.

Peregrine’s sculpture, The Widow Having a Conversation with Herself, 2009, is made of two televisions she found at the electronic junkyard, batteries and a storm screen.  In her artist statement, she describes the televisions as if they were a person returning to life after a brief departure from this world.

Yet death will creep in again, and the widow will at once be alone. “When the batteries die, the piece will be still,” says Honig. “The conversation will end.”

Technology ages quickly. Death is upon us.

Full Disclosure: Peregrine Honig is now a close friend of mine. We met in 2007 when I reviewed her solo show at gescheidle gallery for Time Out Chicago, and became friends about a year later when I visited Kansas City to do gallery and studio visits. This is not a critical review of her work. The thoughts and opinions expressed here belong to me, Alicia Eler. Please feel free to contact me directly if you have questions. I can be reached at alicia@aliciaeler.com.