Cynthia Talmadge: Franklin Fifth Helena

Franklin Fifth Helena

Franklin Fifth Helena, Cynthia Talmadge’s new solo exhibition- an immersive architectural installation of sand paintings- describes a small room, decorated in a mirrored treillage scheme but now disused and given over to storage, ostensibly situated in 12305 Fifth Helena Drive, Brentwood, Los Angeles. In addition to fragments, minutiae, and mementos from two people’s social lives, travels, work, and studies, the room contains abandoned party decorations, seasonal ornaments, fallout shelter paraphernalia, leftovers from progressive political campaigns, pool cleaning equipment, and textbooks on psychology in quantities that reveal an author’s pride or a reader’s obsession (or both). Some of these elements form part of a dismantled reconstruction of another domestic space at nearby 902 Franklin Street in Santa Monica, though the impossibility of differentiating exactly which items originate where is very much at the heart of Talmadge’s exhibition.

Franklin Fifth Helena borrows the format of the Studiolo from the Ducal Palace in Gubbio, a fifteenth century room relocated to the Met in the 1930s. Studiolos were intended for contemplation, study, and the display of objects indicating the owner’s worldliness and erudition. Given the propensities of European nobility of the time, this meant the spaces could also be – appropriately to Talmadge’s project- sites of meditation on morbid fascinations, and repositories for artifacts of (or acquired through) violence. In the Mets example, inlaid marquetry is used to depict a trompe l’oeil studiolo onto the walls of
an actual one. Talmadge similarly maps the illusion of an imaginary space onto a physical one, but her depicted architecture reflects a midcentury L.A. sensibility and is rendered entirely in sand- a children’s hobbyist technique she has scaled up and dramatically complicated in numerous paintings over the past seven years.

In 1962, the respective residents of 12305 Fifth Helena and 902 Franklin were analysand Marilyn Monroe and her doctor, Ralph Greenson, psychoanalyst to the stars, minor celebrity in his own right (he was played by Gregory Peck in the film adaptation of a novel based on his life), and a respected member of the psychiatric community who published extensively and taught at UCLA. Notable for Talmadge¶s purposes are his work on trauma, borderline personality disorders, projection and transference, and the fact that his ideas influenced the development of modern marketing techniques. (He rates a fleeting mention in Adam Curtis’s Century of the Self in this capacity.) Like Norma Jeane Martenson’s “Marilyn Monroe,” Romeo Samuel Greenspoon’s “Ralph Greenson” was also an identity constructed to fulfill various needs.

Greenson, whose studies with Whihelm Stekel place him in Freud’s direct lineage, and who counted Freud’s daughter Anna among his intimates, saw the trauma inflicted by childhood family dysfunction as the origin of all neuroses. He used a technique called “adoption therapy,” which was intended to replace damaging childhood associations with new experiences of integration into a “healthy” family. Horrifyingly, in Monroe’s case, the model family Greenson chose for the”adoption” was none other than his own. The treatment involved fourteen sessions a week (some with dinner and drinks) and required Monroe to develop relationships with Greenson family members and intermittently live with the Greensons. She also purportedly had to restage elements of the Greenson house within her own – the immediate subject of Talmadge’s Franklin Fifth Helena.

Talmadge refuses the familiar depictions of Monroe – in reality, an intellectual at the least on par with the Greensons of the word – as a person without agency, acted upon by men. Monroe has been described as a site of projection famously, endlessly, and Talmadge’s project gives Greenson a turn on the same ride. While much of the contents of the work are drawn from historical information, the artist insists this is not a research project – leaving that to the documentarians, biographers, and conspiracy theorists – and instead describes her work as a kind of method-acted historical fiction. The artist also implicates herself, describing her relationship to the subjects of Franklin Fifth Helena as “less like a historian or even a conspiracy blogger than a pervy psychoanalyst who has a too-special relationship with his favorite patients.”

Which objects on view belong to Monroe’s replication of 902 Franklin, and which come directly from her own life at 12305 Fifth Helena. Might Greenson have staged things on Franklin Street with knowledge that, per his therapeutic program, Monroe would be recreating them on Fifth Helena? Is Monroe’s arrangement faithful to its Franklin Street source? Did she (consciously or unconsciously) aestheticize or editorialize in her selections? Is the apparently dismantled state of the recreation in fact just another layer of staging and artifice? Which object did Talmadge draw from historical record and which are her own inferences or inventions? Might the official history include objects forged to satisfy the Monroe memorabilia market, or even planted after her death to fulfill some more sinister revisionist agenda? How deep in the D.N.A. of our culture, our politics, our nuclear families, does cold warm oral and existential panic run? What is a red herring, a false flag, the product of paranoia, self-defense, or an unreliable narrator or amusing herself? Has Talmadge left breadcrumbs, or is she lost with us in this funhouse of fragmenting, entwined identities? What does a psychospiritual space of pure projection, transference, amd countertransference look like? What’s its address?

In Franklin Fifth Helena, any similarity to actual persons, living or dead, is, if not entirely coincidental, a product of our collective pathologies.

Cynthia Talmadge

Cynthia Talmadge is a New York based artist whose work in painting, installation, drawing, and photography has been shown, collected, and reviewed internationally. Talmadge’s projects exhibit her fascination with heightened emotional states, mediated portrayals of those states, and particularly the places where both converge. This solo exhibition, her third with 56 Henry, continues her investigations into what happens when private personal trauma, nostalgia, loss, and grief come into contact with the institutions of celebrity, money, and malfeasance. Talmadge is represented by 56 Henry.

Mint to Move: Celebrating 10 Years

Mint 2 Move is not just a dance party. It is an artistic and cultural experience paying tribute to artists and dance forms from Latin, African, and Caribbean countries. It is the ultimate event in Charlotte where you can experience sizzling salsa, cha cha, bachata, line dancing, live musicians, Latin rhythms, Afro-beats, and dance lessons all under one roof.

History of Dance


One of the most popular styles of dance rooting across the Latin culture, had it debut dating back to the early 70’s in areas of the world such as Cuba and New York. While salsa has a very textured and diverse background, its primary sound is influenced by the drum rhythms of Afro-beats with a splash of Spanish guitar and other elements, giving it an Afro-Cuban and Afro-Caribbean flare. Salsa received its name as a resemblance of its spicy, saucy movements and textured ingredients similar to the edible salsa dip.

Cha Cha

Dated back to the 1950s in Cuba, the cha cha became its own style of Latin American dance by incorporating an additional slow step into the similar dance styles like the Mambo and Rumba, making it less complicated for people to digest. With its simple one-two-cha-cha-cha cadence, the cha cha has become the dance model that is taught in beginner dance classes as an introductory to more complex dance styles.


Bachata, both a form of dance and a genre of music, originated back to the Dominican Republic region around the 21st-century. Bachata was originally known as a party where music was played, but was not initially considered the music itself until the early 60s. This type of music was originally referred to as ‘bolero’ or guitar music and later evolved into bachata because of its added layer of rhythmic, upbeat sound. Later becoming a style of dance when the Dominicans migrated to the US, bachata remains a prominent way for Dominican’s to stay connected and express the beauty of their culture, family traditions and ability to survive through adversity.

Celebrating 10 Years 

A special thanks to our community partners:

ArtSí, the Puerto Rican Society of Charlotte, Rumbao Latin Dance Company, Comité de Fiestas Patrias y Tradiciones de Charlotte, Soy Latino Como Tú, Latin American Chamber of Commerce, LGBT Chamber of Commerce, and the UNCC Department of Africana Studies.

MINT5PACE: Your Space, Our Vision

An opportunity designed for artists and curators to bring their visions to life in a museum exhibition space.

In an effort to activate all available space at the Mint Museum, we are open to submissions from the public to create installations and curatorial projects in our MINT5pace. This space is used as a platform for artists and curators to gain perspective and knowledge by actualizing and installing an exhibition in a museum setting.

MINT5pace is located on Level 5 of Mint Museum Uptown.

Proposal deadline is December 12, 2022. For more information on how to submit a proposal, view Mint5pace Proposal Guidelines here.

Upcoming Installations

Graphic GarMINT

February 1-26, 2023

Graphic GarMINT honors and highlights the creativity and work of Black designers based in and around Charlotte.  This exhibition displays the multiplicity and diversity in design through many lenses, including fashion, product, and graphic design. Graphic GarMINT is a collaboration between The Mint Museum, the Young Affiliates of the Mint (YAMs), and Davita Galloway of DUPP&SWAT and CrownKeepers. As a part of Fashion Night at the Mint, a special Wednesday Night Live programming, generously supported by Bank of America, the exhibition opened on Wednesday, February 1, 2023, and will remain on view in the Mint5pace through February 26, 2023.

Meet the Designers 

Elisha Cutter

Elisha Cutter is a rising graphic designer, comic-book artist, and designer from Charlotte, NC. Her brand, #TheBoxMethod, was created as a representation of “Therapeutic Art in a Box”. This brand symbolizes her journey and timeline of life as an artist. She focuses on portrait art that displays storytelling, cultural references, and color theory, which allows her to create a blend of art and fashion with art lovers in the design industry. With numerous experiences in fine arts, design, marketing, and retail; she creates her own projects and collabs from inspiration around her every day. Her work has grown expeditiously over five years, receiving awards from Southend Arts Gallery to becoming one of the top Black Creatives on Shein X. Elisha’s unique style has landed her partnerships with Adobe Creative Suites and Shein. Also, her creative approach gave her experiences in Pensole Lewis College, London College of Fashion, WeRGenZ, Microsoft, and Level21 Magazine. An advocate in the art community and education, her mission is to make her work have a voice because she knows we all have one.

A rising graphic designer, comic book artist, and fashion designer, Elisha focuses on the sense of portrait art, which visually demonstrates emotions, storytelling, and color theory through life and imagination. She graduated from Johnson & Wales University in Charlotte, NC, Class of 2017. Also, I discovered the love of footwear and color theory with a minor in footwear design at London College of Fashion in 2017 and color design at PENSOLE Footwear Design Academy in 2018. | IG @elishacutter


Columbia, South Carolina native, Fart.PDF, is a self-taught, multi-disciplinary intuitive designer, visual storyteller and creative director best known for his experimentation with texture, typography, semiotics, color theory, and repurposing of pop culture references. His experience in textile mediums (collaging, painting, and more) radiates through the spectrum of his work. Fart’s pieces vary from detailed, layered, and seemingly chaotic mixed media to clean and simplistic layouts emphasizing composition, juxtaposition, and effective advertisement.

IG @fart.pdf

House of Huebris

Hasan Dirton is a designer, curator, and entrepreneur from Greenville, SC. He is the owner of House of Huebris, an embroidery shop and contemporary fashion label. The brand collaborates with artists and designers to create clothing, home goods, and special items.

HOH represents a perspective that uses the lessons learned from pride & humility as a tool to rebuild one’s confidence in self as well as their connection to service and people. The vision of the brand is to serve as an open door for great products and information that encourages individuals of all walks of life to create, design, encourage and serve. This idea is illustrated by various streams of multimedia projects varying from fashion, visuals, philanthropy, and curated content.

IG @houseofhuebris

Josh Henderson

Josh Henderson grew up in Charlotte, NC, graduating from Harding High School. Josh is a graphic designer, illustrator, and painter who earned his bachelor’s in Visual Arts and Design from NC A&T State University. He currently spends time using his unique illustration style in painting, graphics, and animation in funky colorful environments. Josh draws inspiration from nostalgia, fashion, surrealism, and anime. His influences combined create surreal environments and characters in a collage of abstract-like arrangements. Josh creates apparel such as tees, sweaters, and hats for his clothing brand Relax. The motto is “Think it, Do it, Live It” which is all about taking your vision, making a plan, and sticking to it. His work has been featured on billboards, newsstands, walkways, murals, galleries, museums, shops, and restaurants all over Charlotte. From NFTs collaborations with Bojangles to art installations with Lowes, his work can be used in any way imaginable. | IG @whatisrelax

Macfly Fresh Printing Co.

Congolese American, Eric B. Ndelo, commonly known as “Ndelo”, was born and raised in Charlotte, North Carolina. He started off as an artist in his early years but fell in love with Electronics and Engineering by the time he got to high school. He graduated from North Carolina State University (NCSU) with degrees in Digital Media Production and Electrical Engineering. Shortly thereafter he and his Troop of Gorillas launched their apparel enterprise. With the rebranding of DRC ApeParel and MacFly Fresh Printing Co. in 2012, his love for his culture and for “The Art of Screen Printing” were manifested. DRC ApeParel, The Global-Street-Culture Brand represents his love for International Culture and Streetwear, while MacFly Fresh connects his love for art, design, and screen-printing. | IG @macflyfresh

Makayla Binter

Makayla Binter is a creator, organizer, and educator based out of Charlotte, NC. Originally from Upstate New York, she moved to NC to get her degree in Biology and Studio Art at Davidson College. Upon graduating, she took her experiences and completed over 9 murals in the City of Charlotte and Spartanburg, SC, starting with the Placemaking Artists program with the City of Charlotte and then painting the letter V in the Spartanburg, SC Black Lives Matter Mural. As a collaborator, facilitator, and project developer, she has engaged communities from Davidson College to the Historic West End through art to reclaim space and facilitate difficult conversations. In the Fall of 2020, she was accepted and began three-year-long fellowships; The Emerging City Champions program funded by 880 Cities and The Knights Foundation, the Davidson Hearst Fellowship with Charlotte Country Day, and the Charlotte Equity Fellowship through CREED. She is currently represented by the Elder Gallery of Contemporary Art and is actively developing projects for the Historic West End. As of August 2022, she graduated with her master’s degree in Urban Design at UNC at Charlotte and has collaborated with organizations like Converse, The Carolina Panthers, and The Charlotte Hornets. She currently works as the Communications Manager for Charlotte is Creative. | IG @makaylabinter_


The brand TrashGenius LLC was created in 2018 and its first offering has been “From Charlotte With Love”. The TrashGenius name represents making something from nothing, as the owner and Charlotte native has had to do his entire life. The idea of “From Charlotte With Love” was created with the intention to give Charlotte a catch phrase (IE: I NY or Virginia is for lovers). The slogan is meant to be a positive affirmation for those natives that come in peace wherever they travel and a gift or souvenir for those that aren’t natives of Charlotte. | IG @trashgenius

Queen Loany 

Hailing from Yonkers, New York but rooted and raised in Charlotte, North Carolina, Queen Loany’s latest creative path makes her a part of a long lineage of Black women utilizing collage as a medium to reveal layered, imaginative stories. Though her known medium is photography, the year of the pandemic inspired her to find new creative outlets which is how collaging came to be. | IG @queenloany

Westcott Studio

Wescott is an homage to a neighborhood park in our founder’s hometown. Established in 2019, the brand is the ultimate manifestation of reverence, pride, and appreciation for “beginnings”. Westcott is a lifestyle brand that delivers visual thoughts of creativity through art. We seek to tell a story that incorporates fragments of us in every release by offering fashion rooted in emotion. | IG @westcott___studio

Previous Installations

YASUKE: “The Hidden Ronin”

on view July 8-Spetember 15, 2022

Curated by Justin Hicks and Gordon Holliday, in partnership with The Grooming Greatness Foundation, Yasuke: The Hidden Ronin tells the story of an African man named Yasuke who traveled to Japan during the 16th-century to become a warrior, eventually earning his rank as the first Black samurai. The exhibition features 10 kimonos from ROOLĒ’s F/W ‘21 collection alongside photography, designs, and holograms created by legacy artists. ROOLĒ, an acronym for “Rule Over Our Lives Everyday” is a lifestyle brand rooted in taking charge of your own dreams and ambitions. Founder and designer, Gordon Holliday exemplifies this as a maker who takes manufacturing textiles to new levels by upcycling scraps into brilliant pieces. Holliday’s approach to intentional kimono design incorporates Japanese quilting styles called ‘sashiko’ and ‘boro,’ and a 21st-century touch of what he imagines a warrior would look like in today’s modern world.

See ROOLĒ’s designs and more at:

Local/Street II

June 16, 2022 – June 26, 2022

After its successful first iteration that took place at Mint Randolph in 2020, artist Carla Aaron-Lopez curated the second installment, LOCAL/STREET II, displaying new works from more than 60 local creatives. While in a new space, the goal was still to bring attention to artists of color and strengthen the relationships between local artists and cultural institutions. Aaron-Lopez details that “the exhibition is beginning to take shape as a citywide representation of Charlotte’s artists and creatives.”  Aaron-Lopez has pioneered platforms for artists and made spaces that encourage creative experimentation in both Atlanta and Charlotte. Her talents have also landed her in the art world as a painter, as well as teaching middle school students in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg school system. With support from the NC Arts Council, Arts and Science Council and Charlotte Is Creative, she chose to organize what she calls “the largest project I’ve taken on in my career” to celebrate what feels like the beginning of the world reopening.

Stay up to date on Carla Aaron-Lopez’ upcoming projects by following her on Instagram: @iamkingcarla.


May 27, 2022 – June 11, 2022

Created by siblings and owners of Dupp & Swat, Davita and Dion Galloway, FRESH2DEATH, is a collaboration with artists and designers with the goal of honoring, highlighting, and informing the important contributions of Black people to the mainstream culture. The exhibition displayed a range of works including decade-specific installations of the 70’s, 80’s, 90’s, and 00’s, mannequins wearing designs by local makers, vibrant paintings, and many interactive components. Davita Galloway details the installation as “a celebration of Black joy, of Black pain, and an immersive experience of fashion, music, art, and more.”

Follow @duppandswat on Instagram for upcoming events and installations.

Constellation CLT: Quynh Vu

Constellation CLT logo

Constellation CLT  is designed to connect visitors of The Mint Museum with the universe of talent in the local community.

Constellation CLT is an exhibition series designed to connect visitors to The Mint Museum with artists in our community. The installations rotate three times per year and can be seen in six places at Mint Museum Uptown: in the entrance; at the foot of the Morrison Atrium escalator; and on the landings of the Mezzanine, Level 3 and Level 4, and The Mint Museum Store.

On View

Quynh Vu

January 20, 2023

Quynh Vu is a visual artist based in North Carolina, USA. She graduated from Wake Forest University in 2022 with a bachelor’s degree in studio art. Much of her work reflects the continuous process of attempting to understand her identity as a Vietnamese American woman, an identity that invokes strong sentiments towards both Western and Vietnamese culture and history. Working primarily in 2-D, Vu directly faces the lasting impressions of Western influence on modern social dynamics.

The most recent installation featured is Softened Scars by artist Quynh Vu. In the past couple of years, Vu has encountered a revelatory rift in her process, making a conceptual shift that affects the marrow of meaning in her work.

Earlier in her practice, Vu was deeply involved with the traumatic residuum caused by French imperialism on her native land and people of Vietnam. As a first-generation Vietnamese American, the scars inflicted upon her ancestors have altered her history and ideations of identity.

Constellation CLT is generously presented by Fifth Third Bank.

Creator/Destroyer: Why Picasso Matters

Creator/Destroyer: Why Picasso Matters
Friday, March 3, 2023
Mint Museum Uptown 6-8:30 PM | Free for members, registration required

Members can enjoy an intimate lecture with William H. Robinson, PhD, Paul J. and Edith Ingalls Vignos Jr. Senior Curator of Modern European Art at the Cleveland Museum of Art, as he discusses the importance of works in Picasso Landscapes: Out of Bounds.6 PM, drinks and light bites, followed by lecture at 6:30 PM. Galleries are open until 9pm.




Members Only Picasso Preview

Members Only Picasso Preview
Mint Museum Uptown
Friday, February 10
11 AM-9 PM | Free for members

Mint members can be the first to experience Picasso Landscapes: Out of Bounds, the world-class, never-before-seen exhibition before it opens to the public.

Be the first to experience the debut of Picasso Landscapes: Out of Bounds, the world-class, never-before-seen exhibition. Comprised of more more than 40 works spanning Picasso’s full career, the exhibition explores the depth of the artist’s expansive approach to this traditional genre.
Want a more in-depth experience? Register for one of two evening tours of the exhibition, led by Jennifer Sudul Edwards, PhD, chief curator and curator of contemporary art at the Mint.
Not a member? Join today!


Wednesday Night Live: Fashion Night at the Mint

Fashion Night at the Mint + Wednesday Night Live
Wednesday, February 1, 2023
Mint Museum Uptown 
5-9 PM | Free, cash bar

Join for a night of fashion and design programming that celebrates the exhibition Fashion Reimagined: Themes and Variations, 1760-NOW. All museum galleries will be open from 5-9 PM


6 PM: Curator-led tour: 18th-century Fashion

Join Senior Curator of Craft, Design, and Fashion Annie Carlano for a tour of 18th-century fashion in the Fashion Reimagined exhibition. Limited capacity. Registration required.

Level 3, Gorelick Gallery
6-6:30 PM | Free



6:30 PM: Wednesday Night Live: Fashion House Ball + Vogue Performance

Five houses from the regional and local Ballroom scene will perform and give a breakdown on the five categories of Vogue: Catwalk, Hands, Spins and Dips, Duckwalk and Floor Performance. The performances will serve looks inspired by designs currently on display in Fashion Reimagined. Presented by Bank of America.

Robert Haywood Morrison Atrium
6:30 PM | Free

6-9 PM: Graphic GarMINT Opening Reception

Graphic GarMINT installation honors and highlights the creativity and work of locally based Black designers. MacFly Fresh Printing Co. will be screen-printing live on site, plus live DJ and cash bar.

Level 5, Mint5pace
6-9 PM | Free


Free Art Kits: Colorful Cubes

Wednesday-Saturday, February 1-4Wednesday, 11 AM-9 PM; Thursday-Saturday, 11 AM-6 PMMint Museum RandolphFreeVisit Mint Museum Randolph Wednesday through Saturday during museum hours to pick up a fun all-ages project to create at home. While supplies last.Learn how to draw 3-D cubes inspired by Sam Gilliam’s installation at Mint Museum Randolph, The Illustrious Kites Made in Boxing Styles. This kit includes drawing and graph paper, a ruler, pencil and pencil sharpener, and Prismacolor pencils.Free Art Kits are supported by Mint Museum Auxiliary.