Sojourner Truth Parsons’ Sex and love with a psychologist

In “Sex and love with a psychologist,” currently up at Foxy Production, Sojourner Truth Parsons explores modes of brokenness, desire, and the multi-faceted self. While this body of work has evolved away from Parsons’ characteristic collaged canvases, the paintings rely on splintered, asymmetric frames within frames that resemble collage. The work evokes the feeling of peering in, rummaging through private mementos tacked to the wall. Such is the intimate power of Parsons’ world-building. 

Through these seemingly intuitive and haphazard compositions, there is balance. Each painting follows the dynamic of a pair: reflections, twin silhouettes, hands pressed into a heart, gemini dancers, competing counterparts. Parsons is not dealing with binaries, but multiplicities – the things that you are, and long for simultaneously.

Parsons’ images of archetypal femmes confront the ever-confounding idea of ‘should’ and ‘shouldn’t’. How our desires are so often tied up in the expectations of others, and how we perceive ourselves through their gaze; Shouldn’t we be happy? The pull of longing and defiance is palpable. Parsons explains that she was “thinking about divine timing and how talk therapy wants me to not think like this…somewhat I think these paintings are me kind of grasping at my life claw.”

As ever her mastery of “LA colours” is cinematic and irresistible. In sugar deep and fading shades of pink, black and blue she pays homage to a city of Neo-Noir melodrama and 90s music video romance. Now Parsons, living in New York, contemplates pointedly interior landscapes, both within the shadowy walls of domestic space and the inner folds of her psyche. The city sunset provides the backdrop; a magical space where we can act out every part of ourselves transiently, grasp at the “life claw”, and truly feel our pain and pleasure all at once. “Sex and love with a psychologist” is open at Foxy Production until August 16th. Molly Cranston

No wind, 2019-2020
Acrylic on linen
65 1/2 x 47 3/4 x 1 in.

Camouflage literature for survival, 2020
Acrylic on linen
64 3/4 x 59 3/4 x 1 in.

My Perfect Look, 2019
Acrylic on linen
89 x 60 x 1 1/4 in.

Baby’s breath, 2019
Acrylic on canvas
52 x 54 x 1 in.

Untitled, 2020
Acrylic on canvas
96 x 74 x 1 6/8 in.

Things that never happened, 2020
Acrylic on linen
61 x 44 x 1 1/4 in.

Ocean with piano, 2019-2020
Acrylic on canvas
84 x 84 x 1/ 1/4 in.

Images courtesy the artist and Foxy Production. Photography: Charles Benton.