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Betty Tompkins, “A Woman’s Greatest Weapon Is Her Tongue,” acrylic on canvas, 2015

Betty Tompkins, “A Woman’s Greatest Weapon Is Her Tongue,” acrylic on canvas, 2015

Who: American artist Betty Tompkins
What: Performance piece in conjunction with Women’s History Month and the exhibition “WOMEN Words, Phrases, and Stories: 1,000 Paintings by Betty Tompkins”
Where: The FLAG Art Foundation, 545 West 25th St. between Tenth & Eleventh Aves., tenth floor, 212-206-0220
When: Wednesday, March 23, free with RSVP, 6:00
Why: Washington, DC, native Betty Tompkins is best known for her controversial, large-scale photorealistic paintings, drawings, photographs, and video of intimate sexual acts. On March 23 at 6:00, she will be at the FLAG Art Foundation in Chelsea for the performance “Words on WOMEN,” held in conjunction with her exhibition there, which continues through May 14. The exhibition consists of one thousand small-scale, hand-painted acrylic on canvas works that feature words and phrases used to describe women, including “Total Babe,” “Epic Bitch,” “Girly Girl,” “Arm Candy,” “Put a Bag over Her Head,” and “Will She Ever Shut Up?” (In her request for words and phrases from others, Tompkins explained, “They can be affectionate [honey], pejorative [bitch], slang, descriptive, etc.”) On March 23, Tompkins will be at the Chelsea gallery with fifty friends and colleagues, each of whom will select twenty words from the paintings to “speak, yell, sing, and perform however they wish.” The performance, which should be empowering as well as scary and funny, will begin at 6:45. Tompkins will be back at FLAG on April 6 for an artist talk with curator and writer Alison Gingeras.

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