“Listen. You’ll hear her.” We are standing before Stella, a magnificent antique steamer trunk and, in the words of Jody Levy, her co-creator along with Yarrow Mazzetti, “a woman of another era.” Indeed, you can hear her as you explore Stella’s sensuous interior worlds of mysterious keys, sacred wood, vibrant flowers and sumptuous fur, each accompanied by its own score. The notes are barely audible amid the pulsing beats and rising hum of WAN∙DER∙LUST, a group exhibition with work by artists Jody Levy, Yarrow Mazzetti, Artem Mirolevich, Reka Nyari, Peter Ruprecht, and Dara Young.
The journey of WAN∙DER∙LUST travels without and within. Peter Ruprecht’s striking large-scale photographs and mixed media work flow from the hushed intimacy of a dimly lit bedroom to the vast otherworldliness of the Burning Man Playa, the final moments of an Indian bride’s passage to womanhood to the eerie stillness found in the Fog of War. Reka Nyari’s nude portraits, undoubtedly erotic, nevertheless depict an inward journey. Ostensibly on display, the women of Grass, Ecstasy, and The Sofa are oblivious, lost within themselves. Nyari wryly acknowledges the objectifying gaze in the Flesh series, interposing the naked female form with the flesh of other animals: a cloven hoof held between the model’s bare thighs, a pig’s head resting on her shoulders.
The show’s narrative leaves this world behind to explore the stunning cityscapes of Artem Mirolevich’s watercolor and ink drawings. With mesmerizing detail, Mirolevich creates new worlds, timeless cities on the brink of collapse or explosion, submerged beneath the ocean or adrift in space. Moving to the abstract, Jody Levy’s large scale abstract drawings capture essence and expression, eruptions of energy in space. The imagery of her ink and resin on canvas sculptures––Religion and Dreaming of Far Off Places––is not immediately recognizable but familiar nonetheless; she describes them as “nowhere but everywhere and anywhere.”
Embrace Your Wanderlust
Anchoring the show in the material world are furniture and sculpture by Dara Young and Yarrow Mazzetti. Mazzetti’s sensuous wood tables, benches and stools warm the room, begging to be touched and experienced. Young’s fantastical pieces are crafted from reclaimed wood, burned in a diamond back pattern and layered with snakeskin lace with chiseled scales and shadows. Glass tabletops are inlaid with the same snake lace while columns are laced like a corset.
The experience of WAN∙DER∙LUST is more than the sum of its individual parts, each artist contributing to the theme from his or her own unique background and perspective. Unifying the show is the sense of true collaboration: the artists graciously credit those who contributed to their works, while, in turn, those who helped build the pieces laud the vision of the artists. In the words of an African proverb, “If you want to travel fast, go alone. If you want to travel far, go together.” The artists of WAN∙DER∙LUST have gone far indeed.
- 72 Wooster Street – WAN∙DER∙LUST Group Exhibition – Until May 15th, 2013. Daily: 12pm – 7pm [Price range of works: $1,500 – $28,000; Photos and paintings: $1,500 – $15,000; custom furniture upward from $ 28,000]
Article by Marisa Office