4 x 4

January 12 through February 2, 2019
A group exhibition presenting four student curated shows, each featuring four current MFA Fine Arts students. Each exhibition offers a distinct angle from which SVA students perceive and interact with the art worlds of New York and beyond: from interactive, world building and deconstructing performance art, to figurative works that bare mixed identities, to irreverent multimedia art that places the viewer inside exaggerated set pieces, and queer art that queers the gallery itself.
Curated by Pei-Ling Ho, Ferguson Amo, Weird Eggplant Collective, and Jason Elizondo
 
“Living" in Performance, featuring HeraHaeSoo Kim, Mengxia Shi, Pei-Ling Ho (curator), and Shannon Michelle Stovall, is a performative exhibition bringing together four artists whose mediums include the human body, video, sound, and text as a means of exploring the synergy that arises from the convergence of performance and art making practices. Based on the concept of Temporary Autonomous Zones (TAZ), which are liberated and transformative spaces of energetic exchange, each artist invites the public to experience Live Action Art that exists between domestic and psychological interiors. 
 
The exhibition combines static display with live art that discusses themes of family, gender, and human’s desire. With each artist transforming the space into surreal living space, they will combine performance, participatory practices, installation, sound, healing methods, and food to present a unique experience for the viewer. It aims to pose questions regarding the relationship between viewer and artist, and the social and public aspect of art environments.
 
Hera HaeSoo Kim's interdisciplinary practice involves sculpture, installation, drawing, performance, and photography. Not limited to the confines of the museum and gallery, her practice also engages the broader public sphere through an apartment projects and interventions in kitchen space. Hera’s recent work strives to grasp the intersection between intuitive experiences and cognitive, visual interpretation of it, as well as the moments which come before remembering and their ontological definition. Hera has exhibited work nationally and internationally. She has had solo shows in Dos Gallery and Jang Jin Woo Gallery (Seoul, Korea). Additional exhibitions include MC Gallery (New York, NY), SVA Flatiron Gallery (New York, NY), Slide-Show Gallery (Brooklyn, NY), and Spoon Art Fair (Seoul, South Korea).
 
Mengxia Shi is an experiment-based artist working in painting, mix media, performance, and installation. Her works discuss fundamental sensation and relationship between reality and fiction, visibility and invisibility, order and disorder. She wants to explore more nature and society process and connect with human fundamental being. Some of her work use bulbs and mirrors to manipulate light and space, some images painted by mechanical movement of the body. In addition, she uses some abandon object with metaphor to reconstruct an installation implying an establishment of a standard and an acceptance of normality. Those images share the characteristics of visual consumption in contemporary society, but at the same time provide hints and metaphors for contemporary cultural reality.
 
Pei-Ling Ho is an interdisciplinary artist. Through performance, video, photography and mixed media, PEI-LING explores questions of gender identity and perception within various contexts, ranging from the conflict between exotic and local culture and the legitimacy of parents under social system, and drawing from her experience growing up in Taiwan. She has had group exhibitions include Art in Odd Places 2018: BODY in NY, SATELLITE ART SHOW in Miami, ITINERANT: the annual Performance Art Festival in NY, 29th Festival Les Instants Vidéo in France, CONTEMPORARY VENICE - ITSLIQUID International Art Show in Italy and more. 
 
Shannon Michelle Stovall graduated from the San Francisco Art Institute with a BFA in Painting and has also studied abroad at the Glasgow School of Art in Glasgow, Scotland. Her practice is an exploration of the culturally constructed notion of gender and the strange personas we create in order to navigate and make sense of our identities. She questions our collectively nuanced and complex ideas of selfhood through performance, photography, video and painting. She has performed live at CP Project Space in NY, and had group shows at SVA's Flatiron Gallery in New York, Book & Job Gallery in San Francisco, and En Em Art Space in Sacramento. 
 
 
One of the challenges that people continue to face is the question of identity; Who and where you belong, what you're supposed to look like, and the acceptance of your difference. We are a group of MFA students, Bianca Lott, Latefy Dolley, LaTonia Allen, and Ferguson Amo (curator), whose practice is keen to engage with current challenges in contemporary art, particularly in the area of identity and representation and our exhibition is titled “Figures of Mixed Identity.”
 
We will show a series of works that explores the experiences and issues concerning identity such as, cultural identity, sexual identity, and racial identity, from the personal position of each artist. The exhibition does not seek to group these artist as one, but regards them by the procedures they use or the problems they encompass. We hope to show that there are lots of voices out there and they are all fascinating.  A common form found in each artist’s practice is figuration. In this sense, the artistic processes are analyzed as a creative power that allows different understandings of ways to depict figures. whether by painting, drawing or performance. 
 
Bianca Lott: When I create a oil painting I draw upon my internal emotional anguish, making it visceral to the audience, and aim to push the pain onto them. I source out archival family photos as references for my paintings. However the paintings that come from these photos are not a realistic portrayal of the original photo itself. I am not interested in realism. I am African American , as well is my family members, but it is my intention to erase ethnicity from my paintings and allow the emotions in the paintings take dominance . Emotions to me play a pivotal and primary role while the subjects themselves are secondary.  My aim is to fracture the reality and create a space around the subject to be unclear by the ambiguous atmosphere that surrounds it.  
 
LaTonia Allen’s work explores the inbetweenness and complexities of black identity. Allen’s work sparks a conversation around cultural revolution, in the sense of using an alternative viewing of the world through a fresh lense of black liberation. She speaks towards thinking creatively about our past, to aid in moving forward beyond current realities. That not only are black people more than black-bodied, but we are present and future visionaries. Her body of work is multi-disciplinary, including painting, sculpture and installation. 
 
Latefy Dolley: The act of looking is defined as directing one's gaze towards someone or something or in a specified direction. From my personal experiences, I learned about “looking” while scrolling through AOL-online chat rooms, and then later on gay “dating” apps such as Grindr, Jack’d, and Scruff. Looking for what? Looking for who?  Looking at what? Looking for me? As a cultural worker pushing boundaries and media, I’m interested in unlearning the passive technological conditioning that magnifies privilege and promotes the white male gaze. With my work I’m not looking for something or someone but looking for myself, looking at myself through digital images that reclaim my eye and challenging learned notions of intimacy, sexuality, and identity. I use photography as a form of documentation, information, evidence of my body, looking at every line and curve, dent and mole, scar and shade of dislocation. With these hundreds of images I then transform the subject and context into different visual scenarios that become a part of a larger conversations about introspection and self exploration. My photography and video projects function as blueprints or roadmaps for my journey to reclaiming my own representation. I’m invested in creating an honest visual dialogue about my journey of self actualization and reclaiming my looking for myself.
 
Ferguson Amo: My work explores the cultural representation of the contemporary Ghanaian identity among the African diaspora. I am interested in the notion of representation. Referencing the intricate details of the history, development, and experiences of Ghanaian culture through visual representation. Focusing on cultural diffusion and its assimilation.  My work investigates the misconceptions of African cultural identity, whether the depiction of African cultural identity is always an accurate or distorted reflection. This is achieved by employing the use of various mediums including hyper-realism drawing, installations, and mixed media.
 
 
 
“Super! Fun! Elastic! Sinister!” takes as its starting point the idea of the cartoon. Bright color, exaggerated form, graphic simplicity or a manipulative cuteness are on display in the work of the Weird Eggplant Collective, which includes Marianna Peragallo, Min Ding, William Patterson, and Wushuang Tong. The four artists in the exhibition interpret or appropriate from such consumer-friendly and “cartooney” media as comic books, animation and video games as well as toy models, dolls and action figures. But each artist manipulates these broadly understood forms in a way that complicates their reception, turning what is often friendly and benign toward ambiguous and discomforting ends.
 
Marianna Peragallo is a Brazilian-American artist and educator who playfully visualizes longing, overbearingness, overcompensation, tension, imbalance, and tenderness in relationships with others and the self. Her work takes the form of body parts that are surrogates for ways of interacting and create situations for connection and empathy. The works can feel endearing and inviting, resembling cartoons or emojis, but verge on the grotesque with their exaggerated gestures. Marianna has exhibited at Fleisher Ollman Gallery, Philadelphia, PA, Conartist Gallery, New York, NY, The Museum of Human Achievement, Austin, TX, Bakehouse Art Complex, Miami, FL; University of the Arts, Philadelphia, PA, Art Helix Gallery, Brooklyn, NY, The School of Visual Arts, NY, and Hales Gallery, New York, NY. She has a BFA from University of the Arts, Philadelphia and teaches at the Children’s Museum of the Arts in New York.
 
Min Ding’s work explores an emotional and interior landscape of characters that often seem suspended in a kind of surreal dream space, somewhere between reality and fantasy, and there is often a deep sense of fear and longing. Her work includes sensitive portraits, illustrations and dioramas that explore the interior world of each character in slightly different ways. Women are often the central characters in these scenes and power dynamics are being confronted in much of the work. There is an opportunity here to connect the stories in her work and the world we are living in right now - a world where women are directly challenging and confronting white patriarchal power and all of its oppressive history- and women are winning. This is the future that is being created all around us, slowly but surely.She has had group exhibitions include Pace Beijing,CAFA Museum and Today Art Museum in Beijing, Bushwick Open Studio and Superchief Gallery in Brooklyn.
 
William Patterson is a painter whose work draws on the language of modernist painting, comic books, and early video games. He uses recurring motifs such as insects, rats, bubblegum and high kicks to experiment with depth, distance, and weight in painting. His most recent work centers around urban construction sites (with a special interest in heavy machinery and deep holes) and pastoral insect scenes (especially ants and centipedes). He is in a constant search for strange, insular and formally evocative subjects for his work. William has had work exhibited in group shows around New York, including at Space Heater Gallery, Sideshow Gallery, Lorimoto Gallery and David & Schweitzer Contemporary. He has a BFA in Visual and Critical Studies from the School of Visual Arts.
 
Wushuang Tong is an interdisciplinary artist who explores isolation and the uncertainty of meaning in an increasingly strange visual language. Based on her immersive experience of reading and the perception of classical melody, her ceramics combine the solitude and rhythm which echo in literature and music. Single color, dynamic structure, and intense forms, all set up the sense of distance. With the possibility that always can be changed and rebuilt due to the piece’s flexibility, the composition of the work is similar to the way that how small islands come to be a mainland. It is this proximity to the familiar that makes them all the more haunting and alien. Wushuang has exhibited at Art Center of Luxelakes, Chengdu, China, Brickton Art Center, Chicago, IL, Art Acker, Berlin Mitte, German, International Center for the Arts, Monte Castello, Italy. She has a BFA in Fine Arts from School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and a BA in Literature from Wuhan University, China. Wushuang is also a professional cellist in spare time.
 
 
 
 
To queer is to challenge the normative. To cause confusion. It is a queer's most political act. Resisting assumptions by fostering a language that speaks with its own voice. It’s performative and oh, it’s personal! “Talented, brilliant, incredible, amazing, showstopping, spectacular, never the same, totally unique, completely not ever been done before, unafraid to reference or not reference, put it in a blender, shit on it, vomit on it, eat it, give birth to it,” celebrates the personal by bringing together collective cultures and the iconographies of four queer artists: Zac Thompson, Jason Elizondo (curator), Megan Elaine Wirick, and Daniel Arturo Almeida.
 
Zac Thompson questions assumptions about marriage and romance through manipulation of domestic objects, like fans, toilets, and dressers. These objects are often rendered in soft pastel directly onto the wall and fade at the slightest touch, hinting at the impermanence and flexibility of normative structures and traditions in our culture. Born in Colorado Springs, CO, he received his BFA in Drawing from the University of Florida. His work has been exhibited in group shows, including the Atlantic Center for the Arts Pabst Visitor Center & Gallery in New Smyrna Beach, FL. He has had solo exhibitions at the Craig Krull Gallery in Los Angeles, CA and The Wooly in Gainesville, FL. He was chosen as an Artist in Residence at The Hambidge Center for Creative Arts & Sciences Residency in Rabun Gap, GA in 2016. 
 
Jason Elizondo complicates the intimate act of his mother— a butterfly kiss. Through performance video, he flirts with feminine performative culture, such as faux eyelashes and the color pink. His self-portraits act as a political memoir, seducing the viewer into visceral confrontations with the queer body. Re-experiencing two early acts of pleasure viscerally similar and intimate but different in public acceptance. He has a BFA in Fine Arts from The Columbus College of Art & Design. His work has been featured in exhibitions including: His solo show, preMATURE in Columbus, OH and The Unspeakable and Making Stock in Brooklyn, NY. Elizondo was chosen as an artist in residence at The New York Studio Residency Program, a recipient of the Mary Lane & Smilack Grants for academic achievement and The Association of Independent Colleges and Universities of Ohio 2018 nominee. His work has been published in “Hiss Mag: Issue 3”, POPULUV's “Meet Jason Elizondo, Ohio’s Most-Talked-About Student Artist” and Outlook Ohio Magazine's “My Art Could Mean Anything”. 
 
Megan Elaine Wirick celebrates queer sexual identity and confronts issues of consent and agency within the digital landscape. This work opens up discussion about women’s digital-age sexuality as a contemporary issue through the fluidity of painting. With the use of electric figures and patterns, it creates and redefines a space from an exploitative to an imaginative and playful space where these women are enveloped in self-love and sex positivity.  Working out of an autobiographical place Megan uses humor and lightheartedness to flip the tone of the digital-age sexuality and queer sexual identity. Megan Graduated with a BFA in Fine Arts from Pennsylvania College of Art & Design. Her work has been featured in group shows in Pennsylvania and New York including Femmexplicit Digitalia, Brooklyn, NY and Third Wave: Feminist Art Show, Lancaster, PA. Her work has been featured on Cooties Zine’s online show “Against Community Guidelines.” Wirick was a month long resident artist at the Rome Art Program in Rome, Italy where she focused on painting and drawing. 
 
Daniel Arturo Almeida examines hypermasculinity and the cult of the hero that permeates the visual language of Latin American Populism. Via the illusory nature of painting, he sets a theatrical arena to produce objects that role-play within guises of the sacred and propagandistic imaginarium. By using subtracting and distorting methods, he reinterpretates the documentation of power and the collective fascination with the epic. He was born in Caracas, Venezuela and later moved to Miami in 2011. He got his BFA in Fine Art at the Florida International University. His work, including his solo show, Siempre El Pensamiento En Ti, Siempre A Ti En El Pensamiento, has been featured at exhibitions in Miami, FL such as The Vizcaya Museum and Gardens. He has was part of the Exhibition Committees for The Care Package: Pop-up Benefit Show in Wynwood and Ordinary Days in the Biscayne Bay Campus Gallery.