John C. Hutcheson Gallery (Lipscomb University) / One University Park Dr. September 1 - October 4th (Reception: September 1 5:00pm - 8:00pm)

Morgan Ogilvie

My work uses oil paint on expansive canvases to examine sinister social forces as seen through the prism of fictional and historical “unreliable” female protagonists. These anti-heroines—such as Martha Mitchell, (wife of Nixon’s attorney general), who was slandered as a quintessential unreliable narrator, Rosemary, from the Faustian-film Rosemary’s Baby, and Typhoid Mary—tend to agitate questions of accurate reality testing and delusion.
Utilizing unexpected scale, claustrophobic cropping, and obsessive repetition, I create a suggestion of danger that takes place beyond the border of the painting--inviting the viewer to question what they think they know about these figures.

In this body of work, I have appropriated images from an episode of the Columbo, “Dead Weight.” The main character’s plight echoes Martha Mitchell’s. She may have witnessed a crime, yet others are capitalizing on her self-doubt. In this case, we surveil our portrait-sitter as she searches for elusive truth, while she too looks at us searchingly. Ultimately, we do not know what happened, but intuit that our subject finds herself in a twilight where distinctions between fact and fiction have forever faded.