Name: Rosemary Meza-DesPlas
Born: Garland, TX
Lives and works: Farmington, NM
Human hair has many associations: it can be sexy and voluptuous, it can be repulsive when a stray hair is found where it does not belong, it can be symbolic of power or humility in religious and mythological contexts. In Rosemary Meza-DesPlas’s work, she renders female figures by hand-stitching her own hair into various surfaces. Some of these figures are anguished, some contorted, some vulnerable—each is rendered in delicate, tremulous lines that speak to the traditionally feminine realm of textiles. These portraits explore the push-pull of social pressures around body image and gender roles with which women’s bodies are burdened. While the artist has been sewing her own hair into her work since around 2000, it is only more recently that she has begun working with her gray hair, a personal gesture of vulnerability that explores the pressures around women regarding age by putting gray hair front and center, undyed. In other series in watercolor and site-specific wall installations, the artist renders bodies in watercolor washes that she aptly manipulates to reveal the imperfections (as the artist says, “the bump—and the lump—and the chunk”) of flesh.
Meza-DesPlas received an MFA from the Maryland Institute College of Art and a BFA from the University of North Texas. She has exhibited her work in galleries and museums internationally, and is represented by Amos Eno Gallery in Brooklyn. Meza-DesPlas’s solo exhibition Jane Anger will open at Amos Eno Gallery with a reception on Friday, February 1, and will be on view through February 24.