Arts Desk

Vitamin AOM: Lisa Harkins

Curl Up With the Sky

In which our art critics highlight their favorite works on view at Artomatic

It seemed simple enough—a wall of intimately scaled collages. They pulled artifacts from art history and applied text, reminiscent of Barbara Kruger, but with a different ethos and for a different end. At times the messages felt motivational, and at other times they seemed to urge caution. Sometimes they were just peculiar or poetic. The story behind Lisa Harkins' 11th floor installation is more intriguing: She began creating these collages for her daughter, stuffing them in her lunch bag daily. Her daughter has since completed middle school, and the collages no longer accompany her to class. But they are still getting made. Harkins is an untrained artist, but her work exudes an innate sense of composition (especially in its use of colors). She pulls the scraps together to make meaning from nothing. It's in our DNA.

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