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Beautifully Decomposing Frames

Perfection is overrated. In works of art, it's the flaws that we truly appreciate. Brooklyn-based artist Valerie Hegarty should know, her installations revolve around the destruction of beautifully framed artwork. Each demolished painting and decomposing frame only contributes to the intrigue.

The bubbling decay and weathered remains, of what we can only assume was once a solid form of art, make for an even more engrossing installation. There is an obvious fascination with the colonial period in this series, which features several paintings of George Washington in a state of near-obliteration. The devastation, made apparent through the disfigurement and damage to these historical figure and landscape replications, appear to be Hegarty's way of representing the destruction that occurred in the fight to colonize, which we can still relate to today. Every war has a purpose and wreckage is certain to be present, in one form or another.

We were so enthralled with Valerie's work that we reached out to her to find out what inspired her to create this magnificent type of installation. She was kind enough to respond to our inquiry:

“My works have evolved over a long period of time and I could site many inspirations, but if I would give a short answer, I would say I am interested in looking to the past and imagining the future in order to say something about the present. Or, perhaps like Rauschenberg's Erased de Kooning Drawing, my deconstructed paintings are both an homage and a liberation: ultimately I'm interested in the destructive path of progress and the hope that lies within for the possibilities of transformation.”

Valerie Hegarty's website


Pinar Noorata is the Managing Editor at My Modern Met. She is a writer, editor, and content creator based in Brooklyn, NY. She earned her BA in Film and Media Studies from CUNY Hunter College and is an alumni of the Center for Arts Education’s Career Development Program in NYC. She has worked at NBC Universal, Penguin Books, and the Tribeca Film Festival as well as many other independent media companies. When she isn’t writing, editing, or creating videos herself, Pinar enjoys watching movies—anything from foreign art house films to mainstream blockbusters.
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