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Yesterday was one those perfect summer days here in Manhattan, so we went for a leisurely walk on the High Line, stopping in at a few of our favorite galleries, including Jonathan LeVine, where we enjoyed their current Trifecta Group Show. Trifecta showcases three international female artists — Handiedan, Mimi Scholz, and Sandra Chevrier — who are at the forefront of a contemporary art movement with art that reimagines representations of women. Through an array of media, these artists use the female figure as their subject and are strong voices for a new generation of artists. Curator Yasha Young offers, “This exhibition addresses the fact that art created by women has been historically dismissed as craft as opposed to fine art, affecting the development of women in art throughout history. I would like to open doors for women artists and encourage them to step out and up.”
The show fills all three galleries rooms, one dedicated to each artist. In the largest, main space you can see a collection of work by Montreal-based artist Sandra Chevrier, who merges painting and collage in works that reflect upon the self-imposed limitations within our world and the underlying tragedy of oppressed female identity. In her series Cages, finely hand-painted portraits of women are masked with pages from comic books, symbolizing the struggle of having to uphold unrealistic expectations of beauty and perfection.
By imposing these strict limitations society is placing women in prisons of identity and asking them to become superheroes. In the greater body of her work, the images used within ‘cages’ range from scenes of conflict, triumph and defeat. Often focusing on the latter, the artist highlights the fragility of the superhero, their personal weaknesses and exposes the humanity within the superhuman.
Mimi Scholz is based in Berlin and creates digital paintings that sarcastically comment on clichés regarding the female psyche and sexuality.
Starting with a detailed sketch and then using a tablet to add multiple layers of color, her compositions are printed on canvas and have an airbrushed quality that closely resembles oil painting.
Known for her subject matter of “unpredictable women with attitude” and often accompanied by strange creatures, her works are set in a manically imagined world where the lines between good and evil, sane and insane are blurred. We really love her work and her Dark Pop sensibilities!
Dutch artist Handiedan pushes mixed-media collage to a higher level by digitally creating classic female pin-ups using ornamental components such as currencies, sheet music and her own cartoon drawings. Handiedan rebuilds these digital designs into multi-layered hand-cut collages that end up with a distinctive three-dimensional quality. Her pin-ups look like something between an orientally adorned femme fatale from a noir film, a sexually joyful pin-up from a 1950’s calendar and a tattooed rockabilly girl. Each work is a treasure trove of symbols, with a focus on cosmology, Eastern philosophy and sacred geometries.
Trifecta Group Exhibition, Featuring Art by Handiedan, Mimi Scholz, and Sandra Chevrier, will be on Exhibit Through July 25, 2015 at Jonathan LeVine Gallery, Located 529 West 20th Street, 9th Floor, in the Chelsea Gallery District.
If you’re paying attention here, then you might recognize the above Pentagram Hedge as a work by artist Joseph Grazi, from his exhibit, God Complex, which we reviewed here on The Gig last month. But the Pentagram Hedge is such a marvelous thing, that it deserves an encore appearance. Because, Pentagram Hedge.
If you love Skulls and Taxidermy Bats as much as I do, you will flip out over NYC-based artist Joseph Grazi’s new collection of sculptures and drawings, God Complex, up for just three short weeks at Joseph Gross Gallery. Seriously, it is pretty awesome.
According to the shows official press release, these artworks, “illustrate man’s increasing dominion over the natural world. With the human brain being the most complex structure existing in the known universe, we have been given the ability to manipulate the environment as we please and, ultimately, bend nature itself to our insatiable needs.” I can’t say that I disagree with that statement.
As Grazi frequently points out, “nature has been tamed and the animals that once posed threats to us are now predominantly under control. In addition, we can rearrange and re-engineer our bodies, create new species, and explore other planets. This capacity, along with the eradication of our former enemies and fears, can have a subconscious calming effect.”
Grazi’s new work revolves around the often inconsistent and irrational relationship that we have developed with nature over time, and how are new technologies have begun to give us godlike dominion over the planet and its animal inhabitants. It is through the realizations of these new powers that the artist hopes to lead to a more aware and responsible approach to managing and maintaining the kingdom of Earth.
Joseph was present at last week’s opening reception and, let me tell you, he is not only extremely easy on the eyes, but also could not possibly have been nicer to Geoffrey and me as we chewed his ear of about how rad his art is. I asked Joseph where he gets the bats he uses in his sculptures, and I think he said he gets them from various taxidermist sources, but who knows. He is so hot, it was hard for me to pay attention to what he was saying. Just kidding. Sort of. Not really.
Joseph Grazi’s God Complex will be on Exhibit Through May 2nd, 2015 at Joseph Gross Gallery, Located at 548 West 28th Street, Suite 232, in the Chelsea Gallery District.