If you think I'm Sexy

If you think I'm Sexy 
a group show curated by Diana Buckley and Irena Jurek 

chashama 461 Gallery
461 West 126th Street
(between Amsterdam and Morningside Ave.) 
New York, NY 

July 17 – 29, 2012 

Opening Reception:
Tuesday, July 17, 6pm – 8pm

If you think I’m Sexy examines themes of seduction, lust, and sex through a variety of vantages. The show brings together artists whose work examines both the pleasures and fun of sexuality, as well as its dark, immutable side through the lens of diverse ideologies, races, and sexual orientations. Provocative connections between art and pornography question where one begins and the other ends. From Courbet’s Origins of the World to Vito Acconci’s Seedbed, the history of art has always walked a thin line between pornography and art.

Adam Parker Smith’s Crush is a mixed media installation and cross-fertilization of subjects pulled from the artist’s environment. In Smith’s own words, his work relates to his fears and longings, polluted with filth, obsessions, crushes, jealousy and grace. The installation Crush is tantamount to what popular culture deems desirable—bizarre, made up conceptions of what is considered to be sex appeal. Such imagery has been captured in film and television and embedded in our psyches, ultimately shaping an uncompromising and desirable female identity in American culture. For example, most notably in the 20th century, the 1955 iconic image of Marilyn Monroe pressing her white dress down in the wind. 

Nina Schwanse’s video, If I Knew Then conveys an impervious celebrity appeal. Schwanse states that from operating within, but not bound by, feminist discourse, her work explores the vehicles and effects by which both analog and digital technologies influence the relationship between the self and the object of desire. As noted on the Art21 Blog by Keven McGarry: With a self-proclaimed interest in women “from the pre-internet age of the tabloid 1990s,” Schwanse styles herself as Amy Fisher and monologues on the art of being Amy Fisher, or the work of being the artist Amy Fisher, depending on how you see it and her. “Artists work hard, you know? You have to work hard to be hot.”

I’m Crazy Ripped (Muscle Ball) by Chelsea Seltzer blatantly outpours a shapely, jock torso positioned in a clockwise rotation. The painted surface is traditional in application but seemingly kitsch nonetheless. The painting’s recontextualized appearance culminates into exercise crunches and feel-good muscle balls in the visual of the perfect alpha male with his hands behind his head—eyes open and closed—striking a highly suggestive pose, ultimately raising the question, “If You Think I’m Sexy”.


Participating Artists: 
Aaron Peterman, Adam Parker Smith, Adarsh Alphons, Brian Belott, Caitlin Cherry, Carla Edwards, Chelsea Seltzer, Gavin Kenyon, Hein Koh, Inna Babaeva, Irena Jurek, Jennifer Catron and Paul Outlaw, Jesse Edwards, Jesse Greenberg, Kristy Leibowitz, Makibolas (Maki Kitagawa), Michelle Jane Lee, Miz Metro, Molly Weiss, Natalie Colette Wood, Nina Schwanse and Peter Caine. 

Curators Bio's: 
Diana Buckley – is originally from New Orleans, now living and working in New York. She has worked with the New Orleans Museum of Art, the PACE gallery, Louisiana State Museum, Woman Made Gallery, Mike Weiss Gallery, and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She holds her MA from University of New Orleans and BFA-AH from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. 
Irena Jurek – is an artist originally from Krakow, Poland, currently living and working in Brooklyn. She has exhibited at Family Business, Nonprofit Finance Fund, Casita Maria Center for the Arts and Education, Vaudeville Park, 1366 Space, Cranbrook Academy Art Museum, Forum Gallery and School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She holds an MFA from Cranbrook Academy of Art and BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Image courtesy of the artist, Nina Schwanse, video still from If I Knew Then

Tags: gallery, mixed media
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