Layers of images from Peregrine Honig's Puto series.

Understanding One's Own Work in the Daylight of Another Culture

Peregrine Honig at work in her studio.

Peregrine Honig, Putos from the Beautiful Boy series, 2012.

Train Station saint, 2012.

Subway saint, 2012.


Proyecto 'ace
Conesa 667, altos
+ 54 (11) 4551 3218
Buenos Aires
Peregrine Honig
Twin Ghost

September 24-October 15, 2012

During her residency at ´ace, Peregrine Honig has deeply researched important issues having to do with recent Argentine history as well as taking inspiration from traditional Fileteado and the slang words used in daily talking among specific "tribes". Both are reflected in the large series of intervened multiple prints, where the Filetes (the lines in fileteado style) are used as in the local tradition — full of colored ornaments and symmetries completed with poetic phrases — but with a disturbing meaning.

Fileteado is a type of artistic drawing, with stylized lines and flowered, typically used used to adorn all kinds of beloved everyday object: signs, taxis, lorries and even the old colectivos, Buenos Aires' buses.They have been part of the culture of the Porteños (inhabitants of Buenos Aires) since the beginnings of the 20th century.

Peregrine Honig was born in San Francisco, California and studied at Kansas City Art Institute.

Her work is part of The Dianne and Sandy Besser Collection (San Francisco de Young Museum of Art); The Random and the Ordered: New Prints (International Print Center, New York); Comic Release: Negotiating Identity for A New Generation (Regina Gouger Miller Gallery, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh); and The Perception of Appearance: A Decade of Contemporary American Figure Drawing (Frye Art Museum, Seattle).

Honig’s work is included in the permanent collections of the Albright Knox, Buffalo, NY; Fogg Art Museum, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass.; The National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington D.C.; the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; and Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Connecticut.

Honig is the recipient of an Avenue of the Arts public arts project grant, Charlotte Street Fund Award, and Lighton International Artist Exchange Program.

Artist Statement The beautiful boy image is the center of this new body of work. Begun in my hometown of Kansas City, Missouri, a city ranked number eight in the U.S. in terms of murder and non-negligent manslaughter, this drawing has traveled with me and transformed culturally in Buenos Aires. He is shy, fragile and effeminate in his negotiable masculinity. Here in Argentina he's referred to as "puto," a soft jab between faggot and jerk. Everyone insists its in context — it's just about how the word is said. I portray him as doubled and twinned — a ghost of himself, a memory of the past and a manifestation of the present self. He is both American and Argentinian. He is a boy who will never become a man.

My new body of work investigates ideas of subversiveness and duality — sameness or "misma," as it is called in Spanish. Argentina experienced a dictatorship from 1975-1983; during that time, anyone disagreeing with the military regime was suspect. Activists, artists and others who were suspect of opposing the dictatorship began getting abducted from their homes. They were given a name — the Disappeared. By March 1975, nine people disappeared for every two found murdered. By December 1983, a civilian-powered government returned, and the grassroots activist group Las Abuelas de Plaza de Mayo began investigations into these disappearances. In 2000, one case reported that two young women learned that their parents had disappeared during Argentina's dictatorship. They were 21 and 22 years old, both named Victoria. They emerged as twins of the past selves; they exist in both past and present, bridging time and filling in moments of forgotten memory. They are the disappeared re-emerged, yet they are tainted by the history of their absent pasts.

Every day I walk by the plaster Mary and Jesus sculpture, nestled inside a plexiglass box in the busy train station. It provides a moment of rest for all who stop to experience it. People gaze longingly and hopefully into the box, marking it with their fingerprints before passing on their way through the turnstile. Their fingerprints leave ghostly reminders of their human presence, detectable only as markers. They are momentary reminders of the disappeared, the ghosts that still walk today in Argentina, a country where the non-punishable abortion law was just vetoed, and it is rumored that gay marriage only became legal so that President Christina could win the gay vote. We are all searching for our twin ghost of the past. It is in these moments of subversive sameness, of twinning, that my work exists.

Peregrine Honig, Puto Solo, from the Beautiful Boy series, 2012.

Roses for Evita's Funeral.