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Staff Pick: Painting by Molly Piper

By Courtney McKenna

Molly Piper is a self educated woman who stays abreast of current events and political agendas. “Molly goes to heaven, the building blows up, and Timothy McVeigh goes to hell” is the telling title of a painting completed in 2002. The reactive statement immediately addresses Piper’s unique understanding of the events that took place in Oklahoma City.

The full, yet deliberate composition allows the viewer to observe the events as understood by the artist. Piper’s frankly, playful, line use is informative.  She illustrates a mass of people seemingly floating in air, surrounded by shapes reminiscent of pieces of the building or bodies.  Piper creates a sense of depth by varying the sizes of the bodies, some with smiles, some with no faces at all.  Her select use of color, applied in forceful marks, provides insight to her emotions tied to the events.  

Acrylic paint marker on canvas, 32 x 20 inches, 2002. 
For Piper, understanding the specifics of the event is difficult.  She gives these bodies anonymity and smiles; who these people are is a mystery to her.   The setting is hinted at in the title, and there is one rectangle, perhaps the top of a building, on the right hand side. The lighthearted execution of the painting presents the event in a honest, unfamiliar way.
Over the last nineteen years, Piper has developed a strong artistic voice that addresses social and political events with a touch of humor and an obvious desire to understand.  Learn more about Molly Piper and her art work at her artist page!

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