Frances Goodman


Frances Goodman

Degreened (Solo Exhibition, SMAC Gallery, Cape Town) 2016

Born in 1975, South African multimedia artist Frances Goodman resides and develops her highly engaging craft in Johannesburg, employing a range of materials and labor from the beauty industry to create sculptural and relief works that transpire to be seductive and engaging in equal measures.
Throughout her works, one will be able to identify an accumulation of objects that fall under the umbrella of cosmetics, as well as additional unconventional materials that are placed in the beauty aisle such as false eyelashes, fake nails, and earrings, including pearls and sequins for further decretive detail. Goodman seeks to explore the interconnections concerning femininity, costuming and role-play, the result of which translates into her modern sculptures and installations that focus on everyday obsessions as well as superficial behavior, including the investigation surrounding obsessive fitness culture and agreements of marriage and beauty.

Roiling Red (Detail) Acrylic Nails, Glue, Polyurethane 260 x 130 x 26 cm, 2018

Within the artist’s practice, repetitive and scrupulous actions are employed, qualities that are seen to imitate the repetitive and particular labors witnessed in nail salons and beauty care routines. “By employing these materials and efforts, my artworks draw attention to popular culture definitions that narrow the possibilities of female identity to extremes of consumption, aspiration, obsession, desire, and anxiety” explains Goodman.

“Though my work reflects a society in which objects can define and burden people, it also celebrates the use of these materials as symbols of empowerment.” Being described as “humorously dark,” Goodman’s work reflects how amplified self-awareness and self-consciousness can develop an inconsistent facet governing the lives of women. Her pieces attract albeit challenge the male gaze and are frequently designed with sheen, opulent façades that suggest to the dormant libidinal energy that arouses consumption, as identified amid the artist’s application of glossy nail varnish. Goodman recently presented work at DAK’ART, The Biennale of Contemporary African Art, in Dakar, Senegal, and is exhibiting in Not a Single Story – a group exhibition in collaboration with the NIROX Foundation, South Africa, and The Wanås Foundation, Sweden – at the NIROX Foundation Sculpture Park in Johannesburg, South Africa, until 29 July 2018. She is currently preparing for her upcoming solo exhibition at SMAC Gallery in Johannesburg in September 2018. CURRENT EXHIBITIONS: “Clouds”, The Noguchi Museum, NYC “Clouds”, American University Museum at The Katzen Center, Washington DC

Comfortably Numb Hand-strung Sequins on Canvas 136 x 205 cm 2017

Words by Katie Farley