You should run not walk to photographer Molly Surno’s show, NEFER/NFR, at Capricious Space in Williamsburg. It will include work from her project, “The Smallest Canvas,” in Brooklyn nail salons. Talking about art makes me shy, so I’m just going to paste her artist’s statement here:
My images are meant to evoke a nostalgia for the massive and lonely terrain of the United States. They are insights into a vanishing Americana. The schizophrenic extremes and dreamy melancholy I feel for the country that I inhabit has been an endless inspiration to my artistic vision. I want to encourage and promote a sense of tenderness and moodiness for the kitschy subcultures of America. As our culture takes on new identities through technological advancements and globalization, I seek to document spaces that are slowly disappearing. In a time where borders and neighborhoods are becoming obsolete and replaced by cyber communities I record local subcultures such as bowling alleys, nail salons, cockfights, all-you-can-buffets, psychic shops, etc. with a sense of humor and homesickness. My images are intended to inspire the same feelings as looking through your grandparents photo album or collection of images in their hallway. They are emblems of the present that are soon to be “the good old days”.
Okay, so nail salons aren’t exactly disappearing (the number of licensed nail techs jumped 374 percent between 1997 and 2007, to almost 400,000 nationwide), though I’m sure many have closed up shop thanks to the recession. But promoting the “tenderness and moodiness” of American subcultures? Yes and yes. The press release describes the project as “a feminist celebration using photography and sound.” Damn, that’s my kind of party.
Thank you, Beauty Counter, for turning me on to Molly’s work.
And thank you, Molly, for letting me pull the above images off your website.
NEFER/NFR opening reception, Thursday, November 5 from 6 to 9 p.m. at Capricious Space, 103 Broadway, Brooklyn, N.Y., (718) 384-1208.
I can’t go to the opening reception (which will also feature a DJ and a nail artist doing her thing, for serious, people!) because I have beauty school! But you should. And then tell me all about it, please.