When a man stopped her and warned her that shed dropped something, Margie blurted out, I know, Im taking it for a walk.
When a man stopped her and warned her that she'd dropped something, Margie blurted out, "I know, I'm taking it for a walk." Courtesy of the artist and Luis De Jesus Gallery Los Angeles

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The Seattle painter Margie Livingston has a show coming up at Luis De Jesus Gallery in LA called Holding it together, in which she deploys her dry sense of humor. She harnessed stretched canvases to herself using a contraption she sewed based on bodybuilder harnesses. Then she set out on the streets. (Did you see her? Did you think you might be dreaming?)

From the press release: "History lionizes macho gestures, but she's looking for something more personal: new insights into the mashup of irony, humor, emotional pain, and earnestness that has driven her work over the past eight years."

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Livingston says the work references Jackson Pollock's action painting technique, and Christian Marclay's Guitar Drag (which Marclay said referenced the lynching/dragging death of James Byrd Jr. in small-town Texas in 1998). What also jumped to my mind were William Pope.L's epic crawls revealing tensions of race, class, and geography; and, you know, Christ.

Those are some heavyweight associations. If you're in LA, go to the exhibition and see whether Livingston's new work earns them.

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