Boo-Hooray presents Stef Mitchell's 'New Wives Tale'
Stef Mitchell would pick up the Milk notepads that were in plentiful supply throughout the building, and during the fleeting moments of calm in the storm of her day, she’d vent on paper with a marker or a ballpoint. The resulting drawings are blasts of pure id in a workspace dominated by superego.
They are funny, bitchy, and beautiful, clowning fashion magazines, hipster code, art, and pop culture in a spur-of-the-moment way.
Boo-Hooray is staging a one-day-only exhibition of the drawings at Boo-Hooray 265 Canal Street, 6th Floor from 6-10 pm on September 12th, 2014.
There is also a limited edition artists book signed and numbered, each containing one of the 114 original drawings. Here, we pick her brain to talk about drawings, photography, and sexuality.
1: You created drawings of nude woman, pop culture entities and other cheeky musings on Milk notepads while working on a project at Milk Gallery. What motivated the drawings?
I actually drew them while working on different jobs at MILK. I guess there’s a lot of imagery around MILK, on computers and magazines etc and I would just have too much coffee and end up drawing because there were notepads and pens everywhere.
2: Where do you draw inspiration for your drawings?
Mostly from photography. Any image that grabs my attention for a second or makes me laugh.
3: Were these drawings intended to be private? How were they discovered?
I didn’t really have any intention for them, it was just something I liked to do. Other people on set would sometimes ask to keep them, so I kept drawing them.
4: Your drawings are now being featured in a day-long exhibit at Boo Hooray’s New York gallery in September. Why is the title of the show called “New Wives Tales”?
I guess it’s a play on the phrase "old wives tales". I was married to my wife last July so I decided my cure for any illness (drink a lot of whiskey) was a new wives tale. Two women being legally married is difficult for some people to swallow, but because it’s a new concept I feel like we get to make up the rules as we go along. I did these drawings at the same time as DOMA was overturned and and some people find them offensive, so it all just made sense in a way.
6: Your photography appears to capture the spur of the moment, a raw presence. Do you have similar intentions with your drawings?
Yes that seems to be how they’ve have turned out. I have a short attention span which may also have something to do with them seeming spur of the moment
7: What are the roles of gender and sexuality in your drawings?
I never intended to make a statement about gender or sexuality but I guess visually I’m drawn to the female form. Ellen Von Unwerths photographs have been a big inspiration for me with drawing, I like the characters she creates and the dominant role women play in her images.
8: In your drawings, you obscure body parts and create shadows using bolder, darker strokes of black marker, in addition to using pen. What’s the significance behind this approach?
MILK supplied pens and sharpies, so I’d use the sharpie to cover up mistakes or bits I didn’t like. I liked the look of it so I ran with that.
9: Do you think that you will further pursue drawing after the exhibit is over?
Definitely! I draw almost every day. I’m thinking of making drawings on a much larger scale so we’ll see how that goes.
10: What projects are you working on at the moment?
Mostly on shooting, just staying busy and starting to organize an exhibition of photos.