Interior characteristics often differ from surface qualities. A young 'tween might be sassy and defiant, yet under the skin of these choices, she can possess a very sweet nature. Artwork is the same way. The visceral, visual qualities of the language can be as opaque as all the challenges we experience when we try to "read" the people around us. It takes time. The skin of an artwork is literally the top layer, the last effort to shape something with this language in the process of making it. Often, we are allowed to see beneath this particular kind of skin. The layer may be partial; it may be transparent, or translucent. In the hands of a skilled artist, this kind of probing can last a good while. It can take us deeply into the work. The skin of an artwork is also its covering; its protective layer. When artwork holds provocation, or challenges long-held associations, the confederacy of intimations is sometimes inviolable. This kind of skin may not invite us in. It may turn us away; color might be distasteful, representational content might signal a realm we don't wish to explore. This kind of skin can be powerful. Human skin has 3 main layers. Each provides benefits to that which it covers and protects. Unlike 3 layers of discrete material, these layers are enmeshed. They work together mediating the outer world and the inner levels of the body. The skin of artwork functions differently. While it effectively mediates between inner and outer, it does so across a wide range of phenomenon. The skin of artwork may be enmeshed with the lower layers; it also may be physical, metaphorical, virtual, literal, figurative, socio-economic; it may be metaphysical. It subverts a hierarchy of interpretation and understanding; and it establishes this very same hierarchy. We all have skin in the game. The skin of artwork, has an important role to play. The skin is just the beginning of a complex body. Its surface sensuality serves to entice us inside; inside our own thinking, imagining, and understanding of this-to-that, of inner-to-outer. Under the skin is where the real action happens. -Karen Fitzgerald, August, 2020 ///// (NOTE*: ACC grantee "Elaine Wang" is a.k.a. "Frog the Parhelia")