About the piece:
MY BOOTS HANG THERE follows an image-thread through the geography of my life. Much of my upbringing in Montana was spent on my grandparents’ farm, and my first encounter with a decomposing skeleton has always stuck with me. My grandmother handled the bones—and my horror—with an easy combination of respect and irreverence, telling me we were all headed for the same place, so there was no point in being afraid of it. Years later, I recognized in Mexican art a kindred mix of the sacred and profane, and it provided my entrée into art. The painting included here is from a series called Bone Women: The Taunting Embrace of Life as an Artist. It draws from the Mexican alignment of life and death, each always viewed in the context of the other, with boldness, mockery, wit and empathy. In the first decade of my life as an artist, I literally carried my artwork—and what little else I had left—on my back between Oaxaca and San Francisco. This piece is an homage to Frida Kahlo’s My Dress Hangs There—an ode to the foreignness, exoticism, and perspective of the outsider.