Del Kathryn Barton – What am I also
A fantasy scene. A woman caressing a female kangaroo in the midst of wild dots, traces of watercolors and transparent layers. Del Kathryn Barton opens the door to her world of imagination. A screen-bright, prismatic palette which holds an ubiquitous sexual atmosphere.
The woman, who could be the artist herself, is playing with the body of the animal. Touching its face and stroking gently its thigh. Her suggestive eyes are calling the kangaroo’s attention. She is a well put together woman, coquettish, wearing an elegant outfit. She blends into the colorful flowers and the iridescent leaves.
The kangaroo has a manly posture. Yet, we know that only females have pouches and can carry their babies as so. Her torso reveals her desire for the woman. She is holding her baby’s face with one hand, concerned that her new activity might distract her. She is showing her acceptance of the situation by grabbing the woman’s waist with her tail.
The language spoken in this painting is the one of sensations and metaphors. There seems to be no wording in this scene. Halfway between a children’s imagery and an erotic illustration, the tone is ambivalent.
Other elements unfold signs that something sensual is happening. The hands of the lady plus the hands at the kangaroo’s feet are participating in the decryption of the scene. The lady’s right hand is symmetrically associated with the bluish flower. The red phallus shaped stamens blooming are echoing to the vulva shaped delicate hand.
The tow sets of hands emerging from the grass are also capturing our attention. They appear to be spying on the couple. Translating in their own coding what they are feeling: gentleness and tension.
The two characters are in a pleasant state. Not harming each other nor the viewer. On the contrary, the love and care they bring to each other makes the sexual game we’re watching soft and tender.