EYESHADOWaricoco / Danielle Deadwyler / Erica Magrey / Justine McGrath / Yali Romagoza / Jaret Vadera
Curated by Karen Azoulay
January 9 - 31, 2021
Jaret Vadera, FIG. 110-113, Diseases of the Eye, 2017, mixed media, (detail)
Essex Flowers is pleased to present Eyeshadow, a group exhibition exploring costume and obfuscation. These collected documents of adornment can be interpreted as permeable shields- protecting, constricting, augmenting, or erasing.
Heavy vines of stained glass teardrops hang from a round barrier of rippled water glass. Suspended over Justine McGrath’s face in her photograph Believer, the artist’s visage as well as her vision are distorted by this reverse halo.
Collaging cutout eyes and lips directly onto her own face, Yali Romagoza transforms into her alter-ego Cuquita, The Cuban Doll. Switching out her own features, like the outfits on a paper doll, she plays with, and examines her perceived identity as a Latina artist in the diaspora.
In Danielle Deadwyler’s short film CHOR(E)S, we follow a sequence of domestic scenes haunted by a lone woman, dancing tensely alongside a chopped and screwed score. Shrouded in a cascade of hair, the performer is rendered invisible, just as the labor of black women is all too often cloaked in anonymity.
Fully enveloped by a gas mask and matching gown, aricoco’s identity is also disguised. Documented in Nest UNsettled II, the protective gear is handcrafted from colorful strips of fabric and plastic. Thickly woven, the gear is clearly pervious to environmental toxins, highlighting the performer’s vulnerability.
Erica Magrey’s trimmed hats, which have been worn in live performances and video, are presented here as sculptural forms. Floor length fringe responds to every gesture with graceful exaggeration, while simultaneously obscuring the performer’s vision and restricting their movements.
Jaret Vadera’s mixed media series Diseases of the Eye features nineteenth century ophthalmology illustrations of eyes that have been forced open. The inner lids and corneas in these drawings are pavéd with rhinestones or shells. This grotesque ornamentation reminds us of lurking factors that manipulate our abilities to independently perceive.
photo credit Masaki Hori
Justine McGrath, Believer, 2020, photographic print, 24” x 24”
Jaret Vadera, FIG. 110-113, Diseases of the Eye, 2017, mixed media, 19” x 13”
Jaret Vadera, FIG. 130-135, Diseases of the Eye, 2017, mixed media, 19” x 13”
Jaret Vadera, FIG. 387, Diseases of the Eye, 2017, mixed media, 19” x 13”
Jaret Vadera, FIG. 387, Diseases of the Eye, 2017, mixed media, 19” x 13” and Erica Magrey, Swish, 2011, upholstery fabric, wire, fringe, 60” x 18” x 18”, photo credit Masaki Hori
Danielle Deadwyler, CHOR(E)S, 2019, short film, 12:58
photo credit Masaki Hori
aricoco, Nest Unsettled II, 2015, photograph, 28.5” x 20.5”
Yali Romagoza, Jugando a las muñecas (Playing Dolls), 2020, photo print on aluminum, 20” x 16”
Yali Romagoza, Untitled (Cuquita The Cuban Doll, #1), 2019, photo print on aluminum, 12” x 12”
Erica Magrey, Shakers (Pink and Blue), 2018, fabric, wire, fringe, 48” x 18” x 4”