The best cuts: Nikki McClure at the Bellevue Arts Museum

Nikki McClure goes from the Riot Grrrl scene to the domestic scene in the Bellevue Arts Museum exhibit of her work. But it's funny: even if you take the girl out of the revolution, you can't take the revolution out of the girl.
"Tonight", Nikki McClure. Photo credit: Dan Kvitka.
Courtesy Bellevue Arts Museum.
McClure once created posters and album covers for Sleater-Kinney and other indie rock bands in the late 1990s. She's since moved into popular self-published calendars and children's book illustrations.
Illustrating family-themed books seems like a perfect fit: clean, definite lines, created with simple tools even a kid could use, if the kid was massively patient and painstaking.
But then I thought about the artist's stylistic choices. McClure cuts away all but the most necessary lines and connectors. Her work is literally black-and-white.
"Rely," Nikki McClure. Photo credit: Dan Kvitka.
And suddenly I drew a connection between McClure's paper cuts and the bold black lines of old Soviet propaganda posters: deliberate strokes to deliver a message. Kind of like the propaganda most mothers deliver to their kids: "Always tell the truth." "Cheaters never prosper."
It seems motherhood doesn't soften an artist like Nikki McClure. It makes her cut away everything but what's most important.
Posted on November 19, 2012 and filed under "Bellevue Arts Museum", "Nikki McClure", "art and motherhood", "paper art".