The Kniznick Gallery presents a solo exhibition of Clarity Haynes. Haynes’ large-scale painted portraits explore the torso as a site for portraiture, paying homage to women, trans and gender nonconforming people. Tattoos, scars, evidence of illness, aging, exposure to sun, childbirth, surgeries, synthetic hormones, moles, birthmarks, stretch marks and veins, all tell a story of a body’s life, and Haynes seeks to portray them larger-than-life and divine. Baba Na Gig borrows its name from Baba Yaga, the old woman goddess of Eastern Europe, and the goddess Sheela Na-Gig, or “Sheela of the Breasts.” For Haynes, what becomes “Old Woman of the Breast,” opens up for us a generative space in which to see her subjects seeing themselves.
Haynes’ work acknowledges the history of portraying social power through the painted portrait and redistributes power to people outside of cultural norms. Her years-long process of making each work contributes to a reverence for the way bodies change and redefine what power can be.