Ruth Ann Borum

Originally in The Oklahoma Daily on September 23rd, 2007.

Friday night, many gathered in downtown Norman for the opening of a new exhibition at the Mainsite Art Gallery. “The Contortionist’s Daughter” is a collection of work by Norman resident and OU graduate Ruth Ann Borum.

Borum’s paintings and drawings blend the grotesque and the beautiful to form something else entirely. Though she has been exhibiting her art publicily since 2004, “The Contortionist’s Daughter” is Borum’s first full exhibition.

“I employ painting as entertainment, challenge and exercise,” Borum said in her artist’s statement for the exhibit. “Painting is a tool to communicate things that thrill me, as well as a way to accept and build tolerance for things that seem alien.”

Most of Borum’s paintings are of one of two things: women with elongated necks or cupcakes.

“Sometimes the direct sources of my subject are as private and obscured as those in dreams,” Borum said. “Others play off my continued interest in the beautiful grotesque, as well as celebratory symbols, notably sugar in its dual nature as enemy/friend. Sugar if over consumed becomes a kind of poison, yet we honor each other with sweets...gather around them, and feed them in sacred matrimonial rituals. The cake is a kind of altar and centerpiece, eating it a kind of communion. The cupcake, a smaller form of cake, becomes a portable shrine.”

“The Contortionist’s Daughter” is on display by appointment at the Mainsite Art Gallery at 122 E. Main St. through Nov. 30th.