Dial Tone | A.I.R Gallery, Brooklyn, NY

Robinson’s work addresses the cycles of maintenance and transformation that people, and the materials they inhabit, undergo when they are preserved. Using vintage Black media, she pulls images of people out of the pages and gives them a new life. Mixing the past and present, she builds her own world and abstracts and collages with care, making it clear that these quotidian materials—the crumbling pages of 1950s magazines, the antique advertisements of Black women, the Newport cigarette ads—are as precious and deserving of preservation as the Parthenon Marbles.

In Dial Tone, the viewer encounters images of a woman presented on pastel backgrounds. Created from a vintage Fashion Fair ad, she is big and beautiful, a woman in her prime: independent, focused, rosy-cheeked, and ready for the world. Abstracted through Robinson’s monoprint process, she is divorced from her source and able to exist on her own terms. She is free, self-assured, but anonymous, and floating in a mist of possibilities. She can do anything.

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©Dana Robinson | Brooklyn, NY