Anna Betbeze, Francesca DiMattio, Elsa Hansen Oldham, Katie Stout: Saint Valentine
Thanks to Hallmark, almost all historical and religious associations have been washed away from Valentine’s Day, which is now an annual hearts-and-flowers celebration of love. In truth, it used to be called Saint Valentine’s Day and it honored a 3rd-century Roman bishop who died on February 14, 269, tortured and martyred because of the help he gave persecuted Christians. Which is why the artists Anna Betbeze, Francesca DiMattio, Elsa Hansen Oldham, and Katie Stout have been brought together at Nina Johnson. United in an almost punk or grunge aesthetic, and working in unique mediums, these four explore the day’s themes without idealization: love as capture or trap; domesticity as martyrdom. —C.M.