“…the margin is more than a site of deprivation…it is also the site of radical possibility, a space of resistance…a site one stays in, clings to even, because it nourishes one’s capacity to resist. It offers to one the possibility of radical perspective from which to see and create, to imagine alternatives, new worlds.” – bell hooks.
From a residency in the southern New Mexico town of Roswell, to the artist’s homebase in West Oakland, to a newly realized studio nestled within the hippie heaven of Mendocino—frontier, to hood, to pastoral idyll–Cate White’s latest body of work has seen the painter working across the fringes that comprise so much of the American West. Having spent her formative years in what White describes as, “a back-woods culture of guns, 4x4s and meth in Northern California”, the artist finds a certain familiar comfort within communities on the margins, with these experiences informing both the subject matter and philosophical perspective that permeate the artist’s work.
By transposing underrepresented experiences into the realm of painting–a traditional language of power, White is able to complicate dominant beliefs surrounding gender, race, class, beauty, power, value and morality.
The paintings within “Hello Cruel World” form bridges spatially and socially, integrating disparate communities and blurring borders—elevating shared human experience over cultural division—all doing so with a brazen humor and sly wit that are central to the artist’s expressive style.