'Bodies of Work' Curated by Jessica Ross @ Brilliant Champions
Self identity, sexual freedom, and perceived body image are explored through the eyes of four female artists this month at Brilliant Champions. Curated by Jessica Ross, 'Bodies of Work' presents artists Kate Klingbeil, Rebecca Ness, Winnie Truong, and Maryam Yousif tackling both personal and cultural issues of the female experience through an array of mediums. Kate Klingbeils' mixed media paintings examine sexual autonomy and women existing as human beings (and enjoying it). Rebecca Ness' gouache and acrylic paintings depict those awkward moments behind closed doors. Delicate paper cuts from Winnie Truong speak of the beauty of nature and the female form and how the two are intertwined. Maryam Tousif's vibrant ceramics unify symbols and artifacts from her past in conversation with Western lexicons.
'Bodies of Work' curated by Jessica Ross is on view January 26 - February 17 at Brilliant Champions in Brooklyn, NY.
"I use humor to cope with living inside a body that is both sexualized and deteriorating. My experience of sexuality has been far from sexy- It’s often funny, uncomfortable, gross, performative. Growing up, I felt like a stranger in my own body, weilding a weapon that was dangerous and powerful but seemed to be losing parts left and right.I’m trying to shed the filter of the male gaze, but it is deeply imbedded in this society and my brain. In my work, I dissect the way my sense of self worth has been formed through advertising, porn, pop culture, and through relationships. I want to offer a new lens for which to view the female body. Making figurative work allows me to be more present in my body. My work doesn’t always offer solutions, but I do try to create worlds that hold pleasure and hedonism up, because I believe that experiencing joy in the current state of this world is almost an act of rebellion. Healing is the main goal in making this work.” - Kate Klingbeil
“I pursue painting about figures, but more specifically, about bodies — bodies in various states —- in purgatory, in solitude, interacting with other bodies, bodies in pleasure, bodies in awkwardness, bodies in labor. I’m interested in portraying the complexities and ambiguities, both visually apparent and internalized, that people encounter with respect to their bodies by themselves or in relation to other bodies. With an awareness of the limits and the endless possibilities of both the rectangle and the flesh body, I strive to make work that embraces those rules and limits while simultaneously subverting them.” - Rebecca Ness
According to the artist, her work explores ideas of “nature and anatomy, object and beauty.” Truong goes onto explain - “As my previous work on the subject of beauty and hair evolves, my recent drawings weave the female figure with familiar forms from the natural world. Inspired by the aesthetic and symbolic qualities of pearl, they transmute this hard gem beyond ornament.”
As a child of the Middle-East and an adult of the West, Maryam Yousif’s work reflects hyper geographical and cultural shifts as they vacillate between real and unreal psychologically charged spaces. Yousif unifies symbols and artifacts from her past in conversation with western contemporary aesthetic codes and pop culture hues. Her lines and compositions speak to a sense of childlike naïveté and intuitive decision making, transforming moments of uncertainty into new and beautiful spaces. Her characters reflect innocent caricature, all the while blatantly anxious and rife with uncertainty. The figures in Yousif’s work become symbols of potential in their own right, weaved into the odd language of her objects.