Power puff

Photographer Robyn Twomey's shots of women puffing tough come at a crucial time in cannabis history

Robyn Twomey captured "Ann" with her Persian cat and solo -- but always with her joint in hand.

HERBWISE I remember the first time I saw photographer Robyn Twomey's work — talk about simpatico. It was a huge print of a photo of an elderly woman sitting in front of a piano and a mirror with an immense Persian cat, lighting a joint firmly held between her lips. I'd never seen anything like it — documented in a gallery, that is.

In some version of my future life, I'd like to make a nest inside Twomey's photographer bag and travel the country with her. Not that she'd need my services. Her shots speak loudly, from her descriptive portraits of T.I., Bill Gates, Rosie O'Donnell, to Attorney General Kamala Harris.

Small wonder that the smoke-filled photos of Harborside Health Center's women patients (originally shot for a Fortune Magazine feature) are part of the Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts' new group exhibition "Solo Esas Mujeres", which opens March 17. The show assembles the work of 14 female artists in an effort to reaffirm feminine power through its documentation.

So of all the females that Twomey's captured throughout her career, why use the shots of these cannabis smokers for this particular exhibition? Perhaps these females — all of whom use the stuff for real serious medical conditions — have the most need of documentation. Easy access to medical marijuana is important, oh federal government of ours. Hey Robyn, any chance of getting Harris out to the Mission for the opening reception? I can help host.

"Solo Esas Mujeres" March 17 through May 5. Opening reception March 21, 6:30 p.m.-9:30 p.m., free. Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts, 2868 Mission, SF. (415) 643-2785, www.missionculturalcenter.org


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