Laura Bernstein and Saori Moriizumi at ActiveSpace in Brooklyn - OPENS 9/12

Laura Bernstein, Gita Blak, Leah Dixon, Saori Muriizumi, Hector Madera, Raul de Nieves, Fernan Pintado, Jonathan Torres, Amy Ruhl, Julie Tuyet Curtiss and Sebastian Vallejo.

Curated by Cristina TufiƱo

Opening, 10/12/14 6:00-8:00 PM
Active Space Brooklyn
566 Johnson
Brooklyn, NY

SUPERMACHO features spatial installations, performance remnants and painterly abstractions from a group of artists working as surrogates in a range of subjectitivies and gendered hysterias.  SUPERMACHO also explores the fluid boundaries between seriousness and an exuberant spirit present in the artists work.

Leah Dixon’s work addresses labor, war, and political correctness via highly physical processes— that often result in refined, yet deconstructed sculptures. Much of her work is formed metaphorical hand-built staging area.  Throughout the duration of the art’s construction, Dixon performs as a furious, one-woman making machine, questioning her relationship to power dynamics and propaganda as an American woman.  Her work calls to mind hand-made playground or athletic equipment, with a dubiousness that becomes increasingly apparent upon inspection.  Once the construction/deconstruction phase has created a sufficient structure, Dixon steps away— leaving an immediate vacancy to be filled by a viewer’s presence.  Like many laborers, Dixon’s right arm is much larger than her left.  Dixon believes imbalance is symbolic.  Imbalance provokes response.  Synchronicity over symmetry.  ALWAYS.

Raul de Nieves is a playfully obsessive multimedia artist combining excessive-identity in his performance and installation to build a unique hand-made material and (dis)functional language. de Nieves's decadent multimedia performances include large-scale figurative sculpture, ornamental hand-made garments, narrative painting, and live music to engage his audience in his personal mythology- a joyous mythology that mirrors a childish tantrum or the cosmic interplay of manifestation and dissolution.  de Nieves asserts an excessive form of identity combining violent rebellion and reverent craftsmanship.

Gita Blak explores the ways in which class and gender divisions in society can be articulated by means of music, the  artist collaborates with local activists, independent journalists, and artists in order to compose protest songs disclosing the minority positions in the society In her performance using the form of childplay and children's song, girls aged 10-12 perform in public space, breaking the common stereotypes according to which children are unable to grasp what goes on in their surrounding and girls should conform to the traditionally female (pre) occupations, linked to the private, never to the public sphere.

Hector Madera drawings, sculptures and installations are involved with the “more personal, a combination of abstract and figurative, bold and colorful forms that reflect a period of time where ecstasy and confusion were the highlights of any given day.  Excess was a main ingredient in everything I was doing.  My drawings are mainly done digitally, this is because I was too tired or too depressed to go to a piece of paper and try to make something special something grand.  Instead I started to download apps for drawing in my ipad… My intention is to invite the public to become part of the artwork by stepping in and activate the piece by just taking some pictures.” 

Laura Bernstein “Unusual Feet” asks “What does it mean to believe in an idea removed from action? Does the experience of seeing something out of place or in a context unbeknownst to its origins inspire mythology? For this exhibition an installation based on an on going investigation of mythology, anthropology and parachutes conjure the “the Umbrella-Foot tribe (Sciapodes) because in the hotter weather they lie on their backs on the ground and protect themselves with the shadow of their feet...

Amy Ruhl’s video sculpture Pinky Violence is a sculptural installation made from the remnants of a year-long artistic engagement with literary fairy-tales. The final video, My Mother She Killed Me, My Father He Ate Me projected on the interior. The title refers to a Japanese cinematic genre of adult film, also called “eroduction.”  From the title, a softer kind of violence, an infantile and/or feminine violence.. Not red. Pink. In her adaptations, fake blood consists of a children’s washable tempera paint that when fresh and wet yield a Dario-Argento-red, but dry a girly-girl pink.

Saori Moriizumi makes sculptures through a process of intuitively combining materials that find a median in seemingly contradicting qualities, such as, painting and sculpture, sweetness and violence, nature and artifice, structure and destruction, sincerity and irony, cheerfulness and hopelessness.
Jonathan Torres Some Kind of Creatures is an extension of his paintings; based on creatures that appear as a hybrid of bird or feline, others human with an evil smile but with a cherubic and beatific look. Tactility and repulsion appear in the work as equally pleasurable and disturbing. His sculptures he describes as  “as satire, a cruel smile or a negative joy; beauty in the ugly makes the beautiful more realistic and true.”

Julie Tuyet Curtiss collages stem from a recycling process. They originate from “orphans” or “dead-ends” works on paper.  “Man Kinds” is a collage series that questions gender roles, styles and the notion of identity. These portraits blend female and male attributes -particularly beards and haircuts - playing with patterns, erasing or multiplying facial elements. The shuffling of these mere attributes brings characters into existence.  The simplicity of the concept allows inexhaustible variations.

Fernando Pintado explores identity and theatricality where the harlequin acts as a surrogate self-portrait with phrases in English and Spanish are printed on cotton bed sheets, giving them a sense of confusion in the midst of comfort. The scale is of particular importance, in this case giving the work a sense of theatricality while connecting

Sebastian Vallejo's paintings are inspired by the expansive and improvisational quality that exists in nature; and by the light and colors of the Caribbean, where organic and inorganic forms collide and transpose visually, where order and chaos, affirmation and negation become ever-present.

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