A coin flip offers a quick, absolute, but equitable means for settling disputes. It’s been this way since Ancient Rome. Some say a favorable outcome is a sign of divine intervention. In American football, a correct call of “heads” or “tails” provides dual benefits — the winner receives the ball and the loser gains the wind at their backs. But coin faces aren’t always important. Tossing any coin into a well comes with a wish.
No matter the circumstance, the allure of a coin flip is how quickly it amplifies hope and ultimately changes fortunes. It is this transformative promise that inspires my latest series, Two Sides of the Same Coin. I champion women’s issues, and meaningful change is long overdue.
My layered portraits expose the complexities of feminine identity. They challenge conventional attitudes that suppress access and diminish stature. I rescue commercial clippings from Montgomery Ward catalogs (which I call “the original Amazon”) and embolden them with elements of Eastern iconography, Zen calligraphy, and gold leafing. My women become gods.
A mere glance from these deities burns away the hazy veil of objectification — too powerful to be obscured. The familiar gives way to the sacred. Depth and motivations are revealed. While a coin may initially seem worn or common, look closer!
Blythe King is a rising mixed media talent who currently breaks new ground in collage, photography, and the ancient art of gold leafing. She has exhibited in six U.S. states (GA, IL, MA, PA, SC, VA) plus the District of Columbia. Born in Pittsburgh (PA), her work is heavily influenced by two legacies — the whimsical, social commentary of hometown hero Andy Warhol forged with traditional Steel Town resolve. King studied religion and art at the University of Richmond (VA). She practiced Zen calligraphy with noted practitioner Stephen Addiss (The Art of Zen, Old Taoist, more). But it was a textile startup in quaint Breaux Bridge (LA), that brought her journey into focus. For iSockits, King fashioned wildly-successful tablet covers from vintage women’s shirts. Her latest fine art project, Two Sides of the Same Coin, is exceptional for its delicate but moving revelations. She rescues clippings from Montgomery Ward catalogs to open a fresh discourse around women’s issues. In addition to her art, King teaches creativity at VisArts to seniors, veterans, and middle school students from underserved communities in Richmond.