Trompe-l’œil is a sort of visual sleight of hand. With great skill an artist can paint a canvas so that it looks like a framed picture, or a shelf or a window. Such a trick invites you too look closer and question your expectations. Karen LaMonte’s “Reclining Dress Impression with Drapery” is a beautiful expression of such artistic skill in an unexpected medium. She has cast rigid and fragile glass to appear as liquid and supple satin. And it is no dress on a hanger – you can easily see the intimate creases and folds where the woman’s body would be – if it were there. Which it is not – why not? The dress reclines alone in the artistic posture usually reserved for objectified nudes.
“I am not a feminist, I am pro-feminine,” she declared in an interview with the Smithsonian American Art Museum, “The works are in no way objectifying the female body but celebrating it.”