Daniel Cooney Fine Art: Donna Ferrato: Holy - The Eye of Photography Magazine

Daniel Cooney Fine Art: Donna Ferrato: Holy – The Eye of Photography Magazine

Daniel Cooney Fine Art presents the first and very timely solo exhibition of unique photographs and collages by the activist feminist artist Donna Ferrato.

Famous for his notorious domestic violence photographs which were published in his iconic book “Living With The Enemy” (Aperture, 1991), Ferrato has photographed the complex lives of women for over 50 years. The exhibition proudly shares Ferrato’s work which intimately examines the domestic, professional, personal and political lives of women. Additionally, 40 never-before-seen collage works will debut, expanding the public’s perception of Ferrato’s artistic practice.

This exhibit is timed to coincide with the U.S. Supreme Court’s expected reversal this month of women’s right to abortion. Although the exhibition is a provocative response to the expected SCOTUS announcement, it is above all a celebration of the spiritual liberation of women. The strength of the exhibition lies in the eyes of the women photographed who struggle but become emancipated. In contrast, there are photographs of women in physical and emotional control, perhaps best exemplified by a portrait of the artist’s mother, near death, wearing glasses and a Groucho Marx-like nose. At the top of the photograph, the artist writes: “Ann gave everything except her sense of humor. RIP my lovely mom.” This image is juxtaposed with a striking portrait of the artist’s daughter giving birth at home. The text here reads: “It took 6 hours for the boy to be born with his hair up. She said, this photograph captures the moment of ecstasy.”

Created in 2018-2019 as the basis for his latest book ‘Holy’, Ferrato’s striking collages are constructed with thick white paper and cut-out photographs with the artist’s erratic and immediate handwriting. The graphic collages use a palette of black, white and red and measure approximately 9″x10″ each. A photograph of a medical procedure room reads: “An abortion room is a sacred place. Private. Sure. To clean. Our bodies ourselves! A slightly larger collage depicts the artist, in the center with descriptive words floating around her: “Holy; blessed whore; Mother of God; Cat; Weird ; Female dog; Cat; tramp; Am I not a woman? The collages express the artist’s indignation and the immediacy of this precise moment.

The exhibition is a rare opportunity to view this deeply personal collection of Ferrato’s work. Spanning fifty years, the collection of gelatin silver prints and collages testifies to the fighting spirit of the artist and the need, more than ever, to defend the rights of women.

Donna Ferrato has contributed to every major news publication nationwide, and her photographs have appeared in nearly five hundred solo exhibitions in museums and galleries around the world. She was a board member of the W. Eugene Smith Fund and was president and founder of the non-profit organization Domestic Abuse Awareness Project. She was the recipient of the W. Eugene Smith Fellowship, the Robert F. Kennedy Award for Outstanding Coverage of the Plight of the Disadvantaged, the IWMF Courage Award in Journalism, the Missouri Medal of Honor for Distinguished Service in Journalism, Artist of the Year at the Tribeca Film Festival and Look3 Insightful

Artist of the year. In 2008, New York City proclaimed October 30 as Donna Ferrato Appreciation Day, and in 2009 she was honored by justices of the New York State Supreme Court for her work on behalf of gender equality. In 2020, Ferrato was chosen as one of the Hundred Heroines by UK arts foundation, Hundred Heroines.

Donna Ferrato: Holy
June 23 – July 29, 2022
Daniel Cooney Fine Art
508 W 26th St, Floor 9
New York, NY 10001

The opening of the exhibition will take place on Thursday, June 23 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

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