Milostka Center for Exhibitions
Transfiguration: Growth and Identity from Global Perspectives
Reminisce the journey you have taken, the places you have traveled, and the transformation you have undergone mentally and emotionally. How have you expressed changes in your identity over the course of the pandemic? How has your persona bloomed?
Lael Salaets, Sara Aggarwal, Ekaterina Kuzmina, Pracheta Banerjee, MASCOGA, Billie Mae, Vincenzo Cohen, Nata Buachidze, Bogdan Bousca, moisés hergueta, Jaco du Plessis, Markela Iacovou, Paul Ayihawu, Farashah, kiwi topia, Ana Maria Guta, Vivi Karia, Josephine Florens, EMEL ÇEVİKCAN, Shahaan Azeem, Judith Lungen, Birungi Arnold, Abree Rae, Gale Rothstein, Kamryn Shawron, Eva Wang, Sarah Fitzgerald, Andreja Panič Omahna, JEFF MANN, Mariaceleste Arena, Abhishek Tuiwala, Nick Metz, Jenkins Okpokpor, REGINA MASLEM, Satish, Gale Rothstein, B.A. Wikoff, Rhianna DeJong, Miriam Bisby, Olivia Zhang, Dani Coates
Director of Curatorial Affairs: Sidney Tanaka
Assistant Curator: Paula Fleites
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I believe in expressive art and perhaps painting a painting that expresses the invisible. This is a real challenge to the artist. Feelings like anger, frustration, and fear may go unseen. I tried to show some of these feelings in my paintings, which may be an emotional movement more than abstract. As much as it is difficult to print emotions on the paintings, the soul may be more difficult, so I created my series "The Spirit of Life" as a beginning to express the invisible and away from the sensual, and deepening what is intuitive.
Esa dimensión is a work conceived from abstract and constructivist painting, made during 2020 in pandemic crisis. Von Der Mitte Aus, or Desde el medio in Spanish. The artist seeks to collect the contributions of Torres García, Gurvich, and Kandinsky, merging the narrative of Marc Augé and Michael Ofray and the theory of travel and movement. From the geographical location and the author's own location at the time of making the work to the creation of non-artistic places.
Art, for me, is a form of expression that interconnects my strengths as an artist and what I am passionate about. I often experiment with different manners and techniques used in various cultures and periods of art and through this I explore the boundaries in which my own art exists. I have also realized that throughout the course of my artistic journey my art has not been subtle; I present my art in an unequivocal and truthful sense. I am not afraid to confront issues apparent in today’s world in my art.
Day dreaming is about the sublime expression of dreaded desires that could not be experienced in the ethereal but can be formed from ones imagination. When desires are not actualizing, the need to transform oneself to a place where all things are possible becomes comforting and that place is dreamland. The dreamland stand as a form of energy reservoir to get creativity and charged up for real life situation. This experience transcend gender and tribe.
The curio cabinet features a series of objects with an enhanced sentimental value, items an individual wishes to inherit when a loved one passes. These are displayed as 3D printed copies of the items alongside copies in the drawers below which allows viewers to take home a copy. While the items themselves may hold little value to one not familiar with the object, the desire to hold onto these types of objects, is a common one. The arrangement has the viewer consider what they would want to keep and the similarities between the item’s they’d wish to possess and the ones displayed. As copies are taken home, the piece continues with how these copies are treated; will it be quickly tossed aside or will the viewer empathize with the history, and keep it.
At the center is the figure of the philosopher, represented as if it was a star in the center of everything, compared a little to our Sun, from which lightning bolts come out (the most visually interesting way I have found to represent this energy in a more scientific, and also through the "halo", which I wanted to insert to make him a secular "saint".)
My artwork explores themes of identity, equality, perception, and representation in our society. These explorations culminate in a finished piece which acts as a catalyst for discussion and examination. My intent is for my pieces to have a dialogue with the viewer, and to have the viewer look beyond what is presented to further explore the subject matter.
My submitted collection is my small world of fiction-reality, where the absence of time gives me another identity. Good cover for me to escape from daily routine and from all the "noises” around me. A never-ending dreamer.
The main influence of my work is actually all that is around me, my quotidian life, what happens to me day by day and trying to express these 'emotions' and 'stories' through my images.
By observing the details of everyday surroundings, I find endless ideas from Nature. Working with watercolor has always been the choice for me because it flows from the brush and is never the same application.
In Dani’s work, they aim to visually articulate their experiences in their queer body and how other people relate to it, deconstruct ideas of gender and beauty, and inspire people to think differently (and perhaps more colorfully) about the world they live in.
Elemental Water is a piece that plays with Alchemical symbolism and the way in which each the elements can represent personal transformation. In Alchemy, water is represented by an inverted triangle. The triangular frame confines the painting, much like water takes the shape of its vessel. The concept of diving deep within oneself is mirrored by the vantage point of the piece, which looks up from the serene depths to see the light coming through the surface of the sea.
Lately, I have been fascinated with the duality of life, in particular when it comes to us as humans. I started to think about this duality and how we sometimes think of the two parts as separate, yet we as humans are rarely one-sided beings. This led me to the terms Augend and Addend and how in mathematics they are the two digits that you would add together to get to your answer.
My painting "Coronavirus Pause" directly reflects me and my condition during the pandemic. I will not say that it was a bad time in terms of my work. The period of isolation and prohibitions influenced me qualitatively well. I achieved some success in painting, in the development of creativity and in bringing my artwork to the world public, I also made good money on sales and orders, my phone (it is also depicted in the painting) and my laptop helped me with this. Thanks to them, without them during the pandemic, everyone would have had a very hard time.
During these unprecedented times, a light has been shone on memory making and its fixity through regulation of movement and amassing. Vivi sees that the present can be engaged as a solid platform as much as it is a temporal experience and that its continuation can only be guaranteed through a process of archiving. She begins her object design by consciously making her emotions symbiotic with self, life and the object she will make. She imagines the process of feeling as if it's breathing; becoming an interplay, a merge, change in every second, minute, hour, day, month.
Favorite direction in painting is symbolism. It is easier to convey some eternal and important non-tangible things through symbols and archetypes. After all, any verbal description only takes away part of the meaning.
The one thing I can say about all of these pieces is that they signify growth. For the past 6 months, I have been growing, mentally and emotionally, at a rapid rate. There have been growing pains and embarrassing lessons learned, there has been bumps in the road and steep inclines. I have shifted my mindset considerable to a more positive one, and have delved deep into my true interests (ex- climate change, contemporary art, the corruption of the world).
Though it is difficult to see at times, my work is almost exclusively based on car parts and car infrastructure. I believe there are too many cars in the world and the damage done is far more than just environmental. In many of these images, you can see built (bricks), natural (gravel), painted or sculpted backgrounds. Currently, I am building either screens or individual objects to add to the constructions.
The technique she uses in her paintings is epoxy resin and with this material she creates geodes (reinterpretation of Agates) and waters with a cartographic vision and closer approaches. The sculptures are made with discarded wood, iron and glass. The visual artist lives a permanent process of constant formal improvement.
During quarantine, I carried around a lot of guilt about not creating a volume of artistic “product.” While peers and artists often commented or posted about the wonderful opportunity the pandemic provided for creative free time, I found painting difficult and strenuous. Yet, I’ve recently come to realize that the period enabled me to delve into self-examination and, when the “painter’s block” passed, I found a new outlet for expression.
Andreja Panic Omahna
My series of abstract paintings are inspired by Japandi: a fusion of the modern sophistication of Scandinavian design with the timeless beauty of the Japanese aesthetic.
The essence of season, memory, and concepts are reduced to color formatted into a grid. Much of the subject matter in the series is focused on nature and future shock
Fibers is an all encompassing textural medium. Through my work it has always been approached that way, incorporating different media to create new tactile surfaces.
My recent works are based on cultural disparities. Being an immigrant of New York, I always compare the difference in my lifestyle, which I was living before in India. My research study's primary aim and objective are to investigate the effect of lifestyle changes between cultures disparities. Due to many surprises, I felt great joy and struggle in adopting new lifestyles. However, keeping aside all the matters, I have always tried to define lifestyle through my creative artwork. I have always tried to convert all the unfavorable circumstances into possibilities and have accepted them as opportunities.
The action of using body to touch as many objects as possible in the space is explored in Merging, which shows how self cannot accept the distinction between the body and everything else and the desire of merging the body with all the surroundings to achieve the sense of unity.
The way that I interpreted “Growth and Identity” was through an inquiry of what it means to be self-reflective of the past. Stemming from my questions about my own heritage, I created a self-portrait, where I was inspired by a folding fan that my mother gifted me after her trip to China. I wanted to show the imprint that one’s cultural and past identity has on their current self, and how it can often be confusing to navigate. I also considered my experiences with self-isolationism during the past year, and tried to project those emotions onto my art. I love to work with watercolor, textures, and line-work to accentuate the reflective and atmospheric mood of these pieces.
Using pen and ink on paper, this collection I started as a lockdown project. I always am trying to capture the moment, and working with limited tones has a sense of melancholy into it.
Pracheta combines her traditional experiences with her digital works & vice-versa, her influences include Realism, Semi-Realism, Pop Art, Anime Art, Fantasy to name a few. She feels that art should be without boundaries, yet at the same time, should speak for itself, she doesn’t believe in limiting oneself to techniques, subject matters, or styles.
The main question for me is: what can I do with it? Use it as it is, or transform it into something else? And that’s when the fun part starts… I take themes as raw material, so that I can do whatever, I start looking at it as at a piece of clay and keep playing… I can take some parts from this toy, add others, I can make it look better or worse than it does, or I can throw it away and start over again. That is called freedom, and I give it to myself just as I aim to give it to the the spectator to perceive the suggested theme the way they choose. Even the titles for my artwork: I choose them in a kind of ambiguous way, most of the time I leave space for interpretation
Polyhedric artist, his eclectic production is the result of a continuous process of historical-scientific research addressed to the representation of cultural content with a social and naturalistic background.
Sarah Lynn Fitzgerald makes art that is reflective of her personal experiences, memories, stories and dreams. This work touches on the notion that we are all captured or contained by our experiences and there is always potential for growth and expansion in life and in our dreams.
The artworks are in the form of a diptych and are edited both digitally and manually. The picture on the left is only edited slightly, by using visual programs such as photoshop and illustrator, while the right one receives a supplementary amount of modification. After they are printed on canvas, a manual intervene is made with sewing on the left photo and using body parts in order to create repetition on the right photo.
Through the eyes of the fictitious mystic, Father Giri, a young Catholic priest from India sent to Jerusalem on Holy Pilgrimage in the year 1957, Judith gives herself the freedom to explore and blend Hindu, Hebraic, Ethiopian, Catholic and Yoruban imagery and themes.
As an artist I seek to explore more about the nature of Universe, consciousness, divinity , life journey and energy around and inside us. I admit that our universe is crossed by invisible flows and currents which are found and influence the artworks of each artist. I am mesmerized about the subtle things, which are not things, thoughts, emotions or sensations, the nature of our reality and our interpretations of it due to many labels that impose different perceptions, behaviours and ways of being.
My artworks bear the flecks of time and the least expected things one would reckon with as they might be seen either as attractive or puzzling. They are intended to serve as microcosms for the Artistic elites and individuals alike who appreciate art in proportion to the amount of knowledge they convey.
My art practice has always been putting together the pieces. Reimagined through re-use, my work is informed by my former career as a jewelry designer, my passion for foraging and collecting antiques, harvesting broken appliances and other damaged objects, and rescuing found objects from the street to recontextualize them in my assemblage sculptures. My many fascinations, including archaeology, time travel, and love of the American Southwest and Native American art inform elements and themes found within my imagery.
Black and White Morality- Skins (2021) is a series of abstract split-fountains that create a visual representation of the influence of black and white morality. I constructed a series of screenprints that mimic the process of creating a palimpsest. In hearing about palimpsests and their function, I started implementing the act of scrubbing and reapplying into my printmaking practices. This current series is printed on a material that replicates skin. My layering mimics thoughts that challenge our dissonance and evolve our perception into what we currently believe is good and evil. The act of printing, agitating, and layering shows how perspective can evolve when new information arises.