Beaded Talisman for Unwell Daughter
McKenzie’s work is brazen and brash and addresses its subject obliquely, informatively. She is a detective, but isn’t cool or slick about it. Her works are painted on purses and cocktail pouches, the likes of which may have held lipsticks and tranquilizers. Among sequences of pastoral bliss, not that those are ever quite what they seem, McKenzie addresses paintings so historic that one can recognize them by the heft of their weaponry. Her version of Artemesia Gentileschi’s ‘Jael and Sisera’, painted in pinks on a cream colored clutch, features bodies with marbleized flesh and a chemically hued background of tinted crimson. The sequins feel like a botched version of pointillism, swapping exactitude for a quality of faded and stained lace. Tiny ersatz pearls line the scalloped exterior of the bag, framing the piece while camouflaging its zipper.