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Jenna Gribbon in Artforum


September 09, 2019 • New York • Scott Indrisek on New York gallery openings

"The next day I steel myself for the true avalanche of openings: Thursday night in Chelsea, which somehow still has galleries in it, dotted around the furniture stores and luxury condos. Roy DeCarava at David Zwirner is a sedate place to start, all masterful black-and-white photos of men walking, men talking, the occasional hot jazz scene. At Fredericks & Freiser, the painter Jenna Gribbon is on a girl-wrestling kick. Most of the compositions portray her topless friends, grappling with each other in the strangest places (roadside, next to an overturned bucket of berries; or next to a campfire in the forest, which seems unnecessarily dangerous).

“What’s so interesting about naked women wrestling?” I ask Gribbon, before mentally answering my own silly question. “The wrestling trope has this coded homoeroticism,” she says, when men are the traditional subjects. “But you never really see that with women. . . It’s playful slash erotic.” To stage her compositions, Gribbon invites friends over for what she calls informal wrestling parties, which she photographs. “Could I be in the competition next time?” her eight-year-old son chimes in from the next room. Permission granted, he’s ecstatic: 'Yes! Yes! Yes!'"