Last year, Los Angeles multimedia artist Dani Dodge surreptitiously, and often shamelessly, spread a singular message: “# Just the way you are” using lipstick, spray paint, markers and printed flyers in a guerrilla art project carried out in locations throughout Los Angeles and places she visited, including New York. By distilling a potent message of affirmation through this iconic song lyric, Dodge used her public intervention to insert small, fleeting moments of joy into the otherwise chaotic tempo of everyday life.
“2015 had been a tough year for me emotionally,” Dodge said. “The fact that people could take then-candidate Donald Trump seriously after his misogynist attacks on women such as Rosie O’Donnell, Carly Fiorina and Megyn Kelly caused me to question this country I love. I was struggling. I knew others were as well.”
“If there was ever a time for a sappy love song message to be shared with other women in the world, this was it.”
By combining the saturated sweetness of the phrase with the often-illegal means of sharing it on bathroom mirrors, street signs and sidewalks, Dodge’s project provided unexpected “fugitive” moments of encouragement intended as a momentary refuge from a judgmental world.
Dodge has created a solo installation from photographs of the messages for A.I.R. Gallery in Brooklyn, NY. In Fugitive Love Song, she has sewn photographs of each day’s message into clouds she posts on the walls, along with mirrors. The mirrors — with the same phrase written onto them — are perfect for the self-affirmation selfie the gallery patron has always needed. Because you know what? You are great Just The Way You Are.
Fugitive Love Song by Dani Dodge at A.I.R. Gallery runs October 12 to November 12, 2017. There will be an opening reception on Friday, October 13 at6-8 p.m. A.I.R. Gallery is located at 155 Plymouth Street, Brooklyn, NY. It is open Wednesday through Sunday 12-6 p.m.
About Dani Dodge
Working with themes surrounding identity, forgiveness and social justice, Dodge creates immersive, interactive environments and installations that incorporate video, paint and performance. In 2016, Americans for the Arts named Dodge’s interactive installation/performance “CONFESS” one of the outstanding public art projects of the previous year. She has had more than 14 solo shows since 2008. Her 2017 solo show “Personal Territories,” an interactive installation at the Lancaster Museum of Art and History, included four performance art pieces that activated different areas of the community.