The Rooster and the Rainbow, a solo exhibition by Ann-Manker

El Gallo
The Rooster and the Rainbow, a solo exhibition by Ann-Marie Manker 

September 6-29, 2017
Artist talk and closing reception Friday, September 29 at 4:30 PM

The Carlos Gallery in the Nabit Art Building at University of the South is pleased to present The Rooster and the Rainbow, an exhibition of drawings and paintings by Georgia artist Ann-Marie Manker. 

In her lustrous figurative works, Ann-Marie Manker uncovers the hidden wills of a fictional cast of characters, giving them agency to act upon covert desires. Her protagonists are often staged in ambiguous negotiations, either asserting individual authority or falling prey to an unnamed antagonizer—or both. All tread an inexplicably precarious landscape.

Manker’s work examines the roles of power and subordination as a predicament of gender. This dynamic is played out in bubble gum fantasies and daydreams of Manker’s characters, most of whom are women. Some are depicted as a conniving femme fatal, luring her predator with sexual charm. Others are mere pretty faces, their attempts at empowerment obscured by naïveté, fragility or loss of direction. 
In El Gallo, which means rooster or “cock” in Spanish, Manker has devised the inverse of these earlier bodies of work. Rather than an ominous abstraction, the dark cloud hovering over Manker’s women instead takes center stage as an amalgamated archetype, a chimerical aggressor whose agenda the artist details in her personalized lexicon of symbols. 
A spin on the mythical galipote, a shapeshifting monster in Latin American tales, these gallos are elegant but maleficent tricksters. Inspired by personal experiences in Tuscon, Arizona, their classically shaped figures are strong with the same resilience and determination of the desert, their desires translated as unnatural growths protruding from animal-like bodies.
Manker’s gallos also include a handful of unlikely depictions: delicate young men engaged in atypical intimate acts, or what the artist calls “bromance rituals”—combing each other’s hair, shaving each other’s beards or helping each other dress. In the same way her earlier works addressed power by emasculating it, Manker seems to slay her demons by rendering them beautiful, as if by perfecting them visually, she is able to somehow control them.

Ann-Marie Manker was born in Long Beach, CA and lives and works in Atlanta, GA.  She received her BFA at The University of Southern California in 1992 and her MFA in Drawing and Painting at Georgia State University in 2004. She teaches full-time at SCAD Atlanta in the Foundation Studies Department. Manker founded and directed the alternative space ArtSpot gallery from 2001-2004.  The gallery was awarded "Best Alternative Art Space 2003", in Atlanta by Creative Loafing Magazine.  In 2005 she formed Golden Blizzard art collective with fellow artist Alex Kvares, exhibiting at Youngblood Gallery, Eyedrum, MOCA GA, Marcia Wood Gallery and the Atlanta Contemporary Art Center.  She was awarded the Forward Arts Foundation Emerging Artist Award grant for 2006.  She was also selected for Transatlantic 2006, Artists in Residence International, exhibiting in Berlin.  Manker has exhibited in museums and galleries widely throughout Atlanta and the Southeast, as well as in Los Angeles, Washington D.C. and Seattle at Roq la Rue Gallery.  Manker was a Hambidge Fellow/Fulton county grant recipient in 2009. In 2010, she was selected for the 2010 Women to Watch Biennial Exhibition at the National Museum of Women in the Arts, in Washington D.C.  Currently she is represented by Whitespace Gallery. Manker’s work was selected in 2013 for the permanent collection at the of the High Museum of Art in Atlanta and was exhibited at the High in the “Drawing Inside the Perimeter” exhibition curated by Michael Rooks.