One of the most fun and unique exhibits I visited during last week’s Thursday night art crawl was Pamela Bennett Ader’s, Legal Vows, which I stumbled upon at Phoenix Gallery while running between shows at Emmanuel Fremin and Joseph Gross (fortunately, all of these galleries happen to be in the same building).
What I caught my attention when I walked by the gallery were little vitrines lining the walls, with Barbie and Ken Doll Couples in them! In celebration of the Supreme Court’s decision for the legalization of same sex marriages, Ader created these mixed media vignettes of same sex couples on their wedding days, using Barbie and Ken dolls that she bought on eBay. “With or without the permission of Mattel,” she offers, “my Barbies and Kens are a happy and legal lot!”
This one reminds me of my friends David and Hakim, who got married over Easter weekend this year. When I tagged them both in a FaceBook post of the above photo, Hakim commented “We need to have this in our house!” I can imagine many couples might want to own one of Ader’s works to celebrate their happy unions!
In the exhibition’s press release, Ader reveals her motivation behind the artworks. “This body of work is in celebration of same-sex marriages. I believe in love and I believe in marriage. I also must confess to have had no feeling about the need for these legal marriages until 9/11. Compounding the horror of the day, I was horrified when I learned that many couples, some of which were life partners, were denied any benefits as surviving mates. In some cases, unknowing or unfeeling parents did not even include these loved ones in funeral arrangements not to mention the many who were evicted from their homes and questioned about possessions.” You can see there is deeply felt compassion behind this project, which makes it even cooler.
Legals Vows is only up for a few weeks, so don’t miss it!
Pamela Bennett Ader’s Legal Vows will be on Exhibit Through November 28th at Phoenix Gallery, Located at 548 West 28th Street, Suite 528, In the Chelsea Gallery District.