Linda Stein, noted feminist sculptor and filmmaker, is making a movie in her TriBeCa studio. I met Linda at an event at The Brooklyn Museum. She asked me to be in her movie. I said yes. I’m game for anything these days. A week later, on a cloudy winter afternoon, I found myself on Reade Street, blocks from Ground Zero. I rang the buzzer. Linda led downstairs to her studio where I found gorgeous, powerful sculptures hanging on the wall. They evoked breastplates or armor fused from copper, zinc, magnesium and brass. The line of the sculptures are feminine, the curves are sinuous. They embody feminine strength, beauty and mystery. They are iconic, inspired by Wonder Woman. These are her Knights.
I stood in front of the video camera, self conscious in my blue jeans, my bare feet, my green T-shirt. Her studio manager walked over and placed one of the Knights up against my body, so that it seemed I was wearing a body mask or a shield. I tried on five of them--- each one evoking different images; the Venus of Willendorf, a tree, a shadow. I felt larger than myself. Over 30 people have starred in her film. Over 30 people, men and women, have tried on Stein’s sculptures, over 30 people have been transformed for her video camera. The movie is an experiment, a work in progress.
On September 11th, Ms. Stein had to run for her life. She ran north to Canal, and eventually found refuge in a bar on Broome Street. Shortly thereafter, she began this body of work. In a catalog from the Flomenhaft Gallery in New York (Nov-Dec 06), the exhibit is called The Power to Protect. Not only has she found refuge in these sculptures, Ms. Stein has also found strength. Anyone who sees her work will find this as well, men and women. I walked out of her studio impressed by her talent, intelligence and her boundless aesthetic sense. I walked out of her studio, now late afternoon, feeling a little stronger myself, still somehow carrying the armor of her Knights.