I Coeur McPherson

 
One of my fellow speakers at the OFFF conference in Paris was Tara McPherson (below top). I didn’t get to meet her, but I was smitten by her presentation. She has a great sounding, slightly lispish voice, dry sense of humor and keen enthusiasm for what she does.
 
What she does, or as she said, what she is “most well-known for,” are images of women with empty holes in their bodies in the shape of hearts (below bottom). It is not as conceptually simplistic as it sounds. The heart holes are not contrived. Her art has an edge yet daringly edges up to the borderline of kool kitsch. I enjoy the energy, craft, and spirituality (musing on the emptiness of life and all that) of what I’d call an acidly-cute expressionistic style. 
 
McPherson, with a sculpted blonde-banged hairdo that echoes her imagery, works in New York City; Brooklyn to be precise, where she stays in her studio usually til 5 a.m. She creates “art
about people and their odd ways,” noted the OFFF catalog. “Her characters seem to exude an
idealized innocence with a glimpse of hard earned wisdom in their eyes.” She is a member of the vinyl toy genre, with a few produced by KidRobot (top). As a gig poster doyen, she was named the “crown princess of poster art” by ELLE Magazine. Her oeuvre includes creating vinyls with
companies like Kidrobot, Dark Horse, and Toy2R, painted comics and
covers for DC Vertigo, advertising and editorial illustrations for
companies such as Wieden+Kennedy and Spin Magazine. I’m just sorry we didn’t meet in Paris, and Brooklyn is too far away from Manhattan, of course.
 
Check out Saturday’s Extra Daily Heller here
 
Tara McPherson
 


 

 
 
 


About Steven Heller

Steven Heller is the co-chair of the SVA MFA Designer /Designer as Author + Entrepreneur program, writes a weekly column for The Atlantic online and is the "Visuals" Columnist for the New York Times Book Review. He is also the author of over 160 books on design and visual culture. And he is the 2011 recipient of the Smithsonian National Design Award.

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