For her first solo exhibition in New York, “I Always Get What I Wish For,” Petra presents two distinct bodies of work, both featuring her signature stylized drawings of ordinary people in everyday situations. These latest, large format drawings on primed wooden panels, subtly address the ambiguities in our concept of identity by showing moments in the lives of her figures that are both intimate and yet openly visible.
In one part of this exhibition, Petra draws almost identical figural pairs that express conflicting messages. The figures, such as the men flexing their biceps or the two sitting nudes, both embody yet playfully challenge many of society’s deeply embedded stereotypes.
In a series of smaller pairs of similar, but not necessarily identical drawings, each pair works as a kind of intellectual spot-the-difference exercise. The differences may be small, but their implications can be vast. As always, Petra’s figures are placed against a stark, empty background; her line is bold and clear, refined to the bare essentials, and draws the viewer compellingly into the narrative.