You are viewing the print version of this article. Click here to view the full version.
Columbia Missourian

ArtTalk: 'Faking It' MFA thesis exhibit by Catherine Armbrust

October 15, 2012 | 6:01 p.m. CDT
Catherine Armbrust's M.F.A. thesis exhibit "Faking it" is showing through Oct. 18 at the George Caleb Bingham Gallery.

This article is a part of ArtTalk, a new project by the Columbia Missourian inviting people from the arts community to tell us what’s cooking around town. To submit something you're excited about and open the eyes of the community to local art, fill out the form at the bottom of this story.

Here's the first of the series, from Jennifer Perlow, pictured below.


Related Articles

Q: What's your connection to Columbia's art scene?

A: I own PS:Gallery. I am on the North Village Arts District Board. I am the president-elect of the Museum of Art and Archaeology Museum Associates board. I am an all-around art supporter.

Q: What artistic project or product are you excited about?

A: I can't wait to see Catherine Armbrust's show at the Bingham Gallery. Here is a description from the George Caleb Bingham Gallery's website:

Q: Why are you excited, and why might other people be interested?

A: I think living in the Midwest, sometimes the art we see is safe. I like that Catherine's work is not safe.

Artist statement, excerpted from the gallery website:

Welcome to Catherine Armbrust's world where porcelain meets "plastic" and French Rococo meets Ice Loves Coco...

In the theater of life humans constantly perform a variety of roles for audiences both public and private. This collection of wearable sculptures satirizes how we glorify the often-ostentatious masquerade of American mating rituals.

Channeling a carnivalesque Rococo spirit, Armbrust parodies gender stereotypes and behavioral posturing through a series of lavishly adorned, latex-infused costumes. They are temporary "second skins" of illusive identity one might don to entice a potential mate. Such strategies are often engrained into our biological makeup and our cultural psyche, becoming amplified and exalted through the distorted lens of visual media sources.

Within the gallery mannequins wear the costumes, populating an artificial but alluring arena built of plastic commodities, inflatable toys, aquarium rocks, and synthetic hair.

Have something from Columbia’s arts and culture scene that you’d like to share with the rest of the community? Become a part of ArtTalk.

The rules? There aren’t many. Describe works of art, places, events, workshops, exhibits or anything else arts-related. The only restriction is that you can't share your own work. To submit, fill out the form below or email the same information to us at

This invitation is part of the Missourian's partnership with the Public Insight Network. Read more about that here.

Questions? Contact Joy Mayer, the Missourian's director of community outreach, at or 573-882-8182.