Women first experience menstruation as an epiphany, much in the way a religious innocent experiences stigmata: as confusing, bloody and transforming.
Sally Curcio appropriates signs of authority: religious, materialist, scientific, the erotic, and the museum space itself to create images and objects that merge the legitimate and the marginal themes of femininity and menstruation. This appropriation seduces the viewer into transubstantiating the socially marginalized content into innocent reflection and aesthetic pleasure.
Curcio renders these works using a variety of media: embroidery, painting, drawing, and ready-made sculpture as well as an assortment of artistic genres such as surrealism, medieval art, ready-made art, and pop art.
A charming and remarkable piece is “Milk and Eggs” an assemblage that contains 8 Domes 5" x 4 3/4" (each). This work harkens to 19thcentury museum dioramas as it leads us through the domes in dream-like narrative about coming of age.
Curcio is her most iconoclastic when she juxtaposes the embroidered linen piece “Gloves,” a diptych showing gloves with bloody holes in the palms, with a diptych called “Undewear.” Curcio is successful in descralizing blood and returning it to the mundane. It is both humorous and profound.
In her piece the triptych “Doubting Thomas,” Curcio beautifully embroiders a hand that is in the midst of an operation on its palm. This image is framed on either side by smaller images of the palm wound. The piece has all the gore and sanctimoniousness of medieval paintings, while suggesting a scientific solution to the crisis of doubt.
Curcio has successfully, and with a convincing innocence, balanced the scales on privileged and marginalized content in this body of work. The intentional craftsman-like work and directiness of themes succeeds in taking on substantial and incendiary social and philosophical issues with a surprising lightness.