LOS ANGELES—Penny Slinger: Out Of The Shadows is the incredible, untold story of the British artist Penny Slinger and the traumatic events that led to the creation of her masterpiece, the 1977 photo-romance, An Exorcism.
Coming of age against a backdrop of post-war austerity and the explosion of color that characterized the 1960s counter-culture in London, Slinger embraced her generation’s quest for personal freedom and sexual liberation and channeled these desires into her ground-breaking collages and sculptures. So powerful was her vision that forty years later her work is still influencing contemporary artists.
“I wanted to create art that reflected a state of mind,” she explains. “To be my own muse.” To achieve this Penny Slinger resuscitated Surrealism, instilling it with a radical, feminine perspective that led Rolling Stone to declare about her first book, 50% The Visible Woman (1971) — “This is a major work — surely to become as ubiquitous as Sergeant Pepper in the culture.” As the respected curator and academic Anke Kempkes observes, “She could have become very, very famous.” History played out differently though and by the 1980s Penny Slinger had disappeared.
Richard Kovitch’s film documents Penny Slinger’s life during this intense period of creativity and considers the relevance of her work to the current generation. From her beginnings amidst the grey suburbs of Surrey, to her coming of age as part of the Kings Road art scene in the “swinging” ’60s, all the way to the galleries of London, Los Angeles, New York and Tokyo decades later, this is a portrait of an artist across time that presents fresh experiences of the 1960s counter-culture, the role of women in post-war art, and the personal risks an artist must take to emancipate her ideas.
Directed and Produced by Richard Kovitch
U.S. Premiere at the Newport Beach Film Festival
Wednesday, May 2, 7:15pm
Followed by a Q&A with
Penny Slinger and Richard Kovitch
Purchase tickets here