The first time I saw the art of Chris Twomey was at the Fountain Art Fair in New York, March 2012. The works on display were from a series titled “Triumph of the XX,” which are 2D wall pieces with aluminum foil as a substrate and images of a couple locked in embrace. The foil is crumpled, the images somewhat indistinct. The female in the images has red hair. The artwork is compelling, dreamlike, and sexual. The artist’s statement describing her work is worth quoting in its entirety:
“’Triumph of the XX’ evokes the passion of the XX chromosome (female) in its ability to heal a flaw or mutation in the DNA by recombining and backing up since there are two X’s. A red haired woman is the metaphor for this concept, as she recombines the genes of the world, healing division. Aluminum foil, a simple substrate found in the kitchen and commonly used by women for domestic labor, is elevated, along with this concept, to an articulation of the divine.”
Twomey has had a long and illustrious career. She has worked in a wide variety of media: film, television, installation, sound, photography and paint. “Triumph of the XX” was part of a series that also was an installation, and was inspired by the knowledge she gained of genetics while fighting breast cancer. She lists origins and self-identity as themes she often explores in her work. She has had many major exhibitions in the last several years, and consistently works with new media that includes a variety of digital components.
The more deeply I get involved in the art world, the more I realize how important these journeys to the edge are. Art is, essentially, a way to communicate ideas, and the most exciting aspect of art (to me) is always expressing new ideas. Chris Twomey, it appears, is at the forefront of expressing new ideas.