Daniel Cooney Fine Art presents their first and very timely solo exhibition of photographs and unique collages by the feminist activist artist Donna Ferrato.
Celebrated for her notorious photographs of domestic violence that were published in her iconic book “Living With The Enemy” (Aperture, 1991) Ferrato has photographed the complex lives of women for over 50 years. The exhibition proudly shares Ferrato’s work that intimately examines the domestic, professional, personal and political lives of women. Additionally, 40 never before seen collage works will debut, expanding the public perception of Ferrato’s artistic practice.
This exhibition is timed to correspond with the expected overturn of Roe v. Wade by the Supreme Court Of The United States this month. While the exhibition is a defiant response to the expected SCOTUS announcement it is primarily a celebration of women’s spiritual liberation. The strength of the exhibition is in the eyes of the women photographed who are struggling yet empowered. In contrast, there are photographs of women who are in physical and emotional command, perhaps best exhibited by a portrait of the artist’s mother, near death, wearing Groucho Marx glasses and nose. Atop the photograph the artist writes in part, “Ann gave everything away, except her sense of humor. RIP my pretty Mama.” This image is juxtaposed with a searing portrait of the artist’s daughter giving birth at home. The text here reads in part, “It took 6 hours till the boy was born in the caul. She said, this photograph captures the moment of ecstasy.”
Created in 2018 – 2019 as the foundation for her most recent book “Holy”, Ferrato’s striking collages are constructed with heavy white paper and cut photographs with writing in the artist’s erratic, immediate hand. The graphic collages wield a palette of black, white, and red, and measure about 9″x10″ each. A photograph of a medical procedure room reads, “An Abortion Room Is A Sacred Place. Private. Safe. Clean. Our Bodies Ourselves!” A slightly larger collage pictures the artist, centered with descriptive words floating around her: “Holy; Blessed Whore; Mother Of God; Cunt; Queer; Bitch; Pussy; Tramp; Ain’t I A Woman?” The collages express the outrage of the artist and the immediacy of this very moment.
The exhibition is a rare opportunity to see this deeply personal collection of Ferrato’s work. Spanning fifty years, the collection of silver gelatin prints and collages is a testament to the fighting spirit of the artist and the need, now more than ever, to stand up for the rights of women.
Donna Ferrato has contributed to every major news publication in the country and her photographs have appeared in nearly five hundred solo exhibitions in museums and galleries worldwide. She has been a member of the Executive Board of Directors for the W. Eugene Smith Fund and was president and founder of the non-profit Domestic Abuse Awareness Project. She has been a recipient of the W. Eugene Smith Grant, the Robert F. Kennedy Award for Outstanding Coverage of the Plight of the Disadvantaged, the IWMF Courage in Journalism Award, the Missouri Medal of Honor for Distinguished Service in Journalism, Artist of the Year at the Tribeca Film Festival, and the Look3 Insightful
Artist of the Year. In 2008, the City of New York proclaimed October 30 “Donna Ferrato Appreciation Day,” and in 2009 she was honored by the judges of the New York State Supreme Court for her work advancing gender equality. In 2020, Ferrato was chosen as one of the Hundred Heroines by the British Arts foundation, Hundred Heroines.
Donna Ferrato : Holy
June 23 – July 29, 2022
Daniel Cooney Fine Art
508 W 26th St, Floor 9
New York, NY 10001
The opening reception for the exhibition will be Thursday, June 23, 6-8pm