Beginning on May 14th with an opening reception from 3-5 p.m., and running until June 29th is the new and awe-inspiring solo exhibition of Bay-area artist Amy Nathan.
Presented by CULT Aimee Friberg Exhibitions, this incredibly creative and thought-provoking gallery exhibit is titled "Slipknot Loophole," and will feature exclusive bas reliefs, drawings, paintings and mixed media sculptures which all engage and explore the mechanisms women use to hold themselves together.
Nathan's powerful installations extend her experimentation with various materials as well as her acute study on the relationships and distances between image and embodiment. Slipknot Loophole utilizes a wide array of sources both ancient and contemporary to examine the various clothing and tools which double, reshape and camouflage the power of the female body, producing a highly ingenious collection that is both eclectic in form and playful in style.
Examples of this dynamic can be seen with Nathan's clever recreations of paparazzi photos and celebrity selfies as Etruscan-style reliefs and paintings which also carefully combine geometric patterns with figurative imagery, using historic female icons such as Athena, J-Lo, Britney Spears and Medusa as inspiration.
Such bas-reliefs were intricately constructed out of clay, resin, and plaster, followed by amalgamating photography and drawing to recreate their textural experience. "My studio process of passing an image through states of being (photograph to drawing,to sculpture, to painting) furthers the distance from the original but leaves the physicaltrace of my hand," Nathan elucidates on the duplication and displacement of ideas among materials, "I’m interested in how close the casting process feels to photography—I make cast tablets (like printed photographs) from a single clay slab (the “negative”)."
This physical process mimics the same internal process in which we take in photographs, images, and all forms of media to then replicating or diluting it, with Nathan emphasizing the importance of preserving and finding the original. "In several sculptures, an image is cast onto itself multiple times and in different materials, some are opaque layers and some transparent. There is a search for the vestige’s origin that I’m interested in—that archaeological line we follow, hoping to find answers to write the history, to make the myth.”
Immensely creative installations to anticipate and observe here are the "Pelvic Portico," which combine lace underwear with armored exoskeletons of war, using metal sheets to replicate the ruffles of the lingerie.
The sculptural masterpiece "Flying Buttress" is also a wonderous sight, as its painted wood externalizes the corsetry lacework of bows, ribbons, and grommets which pull and release the framework.
Such intimate undergarments boldly shown to the audience draw from Nathan's amazement with Madonna’s Blond Ambition corsetry fashion from the 1980's.
As a graduate from Mills College and a Fellow Headlands Center for the Arts, Nathan proudly holds an MFA, with her work also having appeared in notable publications such Art Maze Magazine, Sculpture Magazine, and more, along with a feature with Juxtapoz.
Nathan enjoys asking questions about how meaning, such as gendered nature of politics and power, can be expressed through visual languages, which has also taken her work to several galleries such as AORA London, Traywick Contemporary, the International Sculpture Center, and many more, before finding her new summer home here at CULT Aimee Friberg Exhibitions.
CULT Aimee Friberg Exhibitions was founded in 2013 by esteemed curator Aimee Friberg as a contemporary gallery to showcase all the most cutting-edge and ingenious work from the most talented artists, both newly emerging and more established. Since its inception, CULT has strived on being a powerful platform for stimulating experimental work which can address current social complexities and issues.
CULT successfully encourages both their local underrepresented Bay Area artists and greater international audiences through their many engaging programs, unorthodox performances, and critical personal dialogues.
It is no surprise then that Nathan's outstanding work fits so naturally in this innovative space. Slipknot Loophole will be available to view between May 14 to June 29, 2022 at CULT on 1401 16th Street. There will also be a two-hour opening reception there that same premiere day on May 14th from 3 to 5 p.m. Tickets to the exhibition can be reserved here.
Photography by: Courtesy of the artist and CULT Aimee Friberg Exhibitions