An Unapologetic Gaze

Christine LoFaso
Chicago, IL

Sweatshop Worker Series: Mayra
 Hand-jacquard-woven video still, metallic yarn
32" x 42"
Photo permission of the artist. Collection of University Hospitals, Cleveland, Ohio

Sweatshop Worker Series: Ovidia
 Hand-jacquard-woven video still, metallic yarn
32" x 42"
Photo permission of the artist. Collection of University Hospitals, Cleveland, Ohio
These two woven textile artworks were juried into Focus: Fiber 2008, A biennial juried exhibition of contemporary fiber art through the Textile Art Alliance of the Cleveland Museum of Art. Sarah Quinton, Senior Curator of the Textile Museum of Canada, juried this exceptional exhibition. 


In the exhibition catalog, Christine states, 
"In this series, I want to convey a sense of empowerment these women engender through the courage, honesty and directness of their account. Which is reflected in their expressions as they gaze unapologetically at the viewer."
I had the pleasure of seeing this work first hand and introducing it to Trudy Wiesenberger, Curator of the Art Collection at University Hospitals in Cleveland, Ohio. These are now in their prestigious collection.


Christine used a gold metallic yarn to weave on a black warp. The effect is striking. At once the viewer gets a sense of reverence for these women and feels confronted by their gaze. She captured these images in her travels to Santa Lucia Utatlán in Guatemala and later translated them into weavings.
I've been to Honduras and have seen faces like these. The young women who work under the harsh conditions of a sweatshop who look old at 30 and suffer from lack of access to good healthcare, food and shelter.


Christine wrote to me that she's developing a website. I'll be sure to give you the link as soon as it's up. 
Surely, we want to see more.




Christine LoFaso, a professor at Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, Illinois, received her M.F.A. from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.


* I also designed the catalog for this exhibition and will show additional pieces of work as I gain permission from the artists.