Colección: Two Of Swords, Selected By Shelli Quintos (online exhibition)

About the exhibition

The premise of this show is rooted in ideas and concepts that I’ve been obsessing over lately- mainly that of intuition and choices. The Two of Swords is a tarot card that has been resurfacing repeatedly in my life over the last several months and I’ve become enthralled by meticulously picking apart the multifaceted meanings and guidance it gives. The imagery that shows up in this card, no matter the deck, always depicts a woman, blindfolded, her arms crossed in front of her chest, a sword in each hand. There is almost always a moon represented in the background above her head, and a body of water and rocks behind her. 

Generally, this card speaks to two choices, or a difficult decision, and a sense that being at this crossroad is made even more complex by a type of blindfold or lack of information. What plagues me about the different interpretations of this card is the idea that perhaps the reader needs to follow their intuition (represented by the moon) -- which in itself can feel like an action being done blindly -- or that the blindfold is a self-inflicted symbol of ignoring some or all of the information at hand, creating questions of self-sabotage. And from here I’m thrown into a cyclical process of trying to understand what intuition is and how to recognize it, and how to separate it from a deceptive blindfold.

The works that I’ve selected either speak to the duality of decision making, the anxiety that the process can create, or how we might visualize the results of a life of making choices. Some pieces have been chosen based on how they attach to memory and desire, which also highly affect our intuition. I believe that art is intuitive. Through any type of creative process, I think our decisive skills are honed and made bolder. Each piece is a series of choices made by the artist, and each completed piece marks a moment of feeling sure that it’s done. In the end, intuition is not about knowing how to definitively go in the right direction, but how to choose a direction that feels right and strapping yourself in for the journey that takes you to the next crossroad. We are so often intimidated by the destination that we forget we have choices. This selection is intended to give light and appreciation to decisions made and choices chosen, while still paying homage to the fact that freedom of choice can feel like a double-edged sword sometimes.

About the selector

Shelli Quintos is a Chicago-based artist from Lexington, Kentucky. Her work and perspectives are highly focused on memory, nostalgia, and experimenting with sequencing to evoke connections between otherwise separate pieces. Although her original medium is film photography, she has found the greatest intersection for her interests lies in creating artist books. She graduated with her BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2016. 

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