In Valerie Imparato’s powerful new show, “An Ode to My Mother,” painting and collage offer revelations on motherhood, illness, transition, and becoming. Imparato says she created these works as a response to her mother’s degenerative illness.
“An Ode to My Mother” is on view at Washington Street Art Center from December 5 through December 19, 2019. The opening reception is Thursday, December 5, at 7:30 pm.
In this collection, Imparato explores “memory, what it means to become your mother, and both holding on and letting go,” she says. By far Imparato’s most personal and intimate body of work, the paintings go beyond her earlier images of black women “and presenting black women as holy,” she says, and dive deeper into her dynamic with one black woman in particular -- her mother.
“The fragmented aesthetic that I use and the heavy edits on the photographs reflect fragmented memory and the recreation of narratives. My mother’s struggle with a rare genetic degenerative illness has prompted me to reflect on my relationship with my mother, what I know about who she has been, and what I see in who she is becoming, and who I am becoming alongside her.” Born in Haiti, the artist has lived in Johannesburg, Nairobi, Maryland, New York City, and now resides in Cambridge.