The myth of Iώ - first priestess of Hera, the wife of Zeus - is quintessentially a story of torment, metamorphosis and, above all, lust. Desire, regarded as a gravitational force transcending aesthetics and form, governs immortal gods and humans alike.
Beautiful nymph and mortal lover, Iώ was seduced by Zeus, king of the gods, and transformed into a heifer to be concealed from his jealous wife, Hera. Hera, still somewhat suspicious, demanded the heifer as a gift forcing Zeus to reluctantly hand Io over to her care. Argos, who had hundred eyes, was sent to guard Iώ and prevent Zeus from visiting her. Yet Zeus, succumbing to the most uncontrollable impulse of desire, in turn, sent Hermes to distract and eventually slay Argos. When Iώ was freed, still in the form of a heifer, Hera directed a gadfly to sting her continuously, driving her to wander around unknown territories without rest. Once in Egypt, Iώ was finally rescued and restored to human form by Zeus himself. Here she gave birth to Zeus' children.
The exhibition brings together a selection of figurative works by contemporary artists, exploring the notion of identity with an emphasis on the sublimation of desires and unconscious drives that define female experience.
The broad spectrum of aesthetic contaminations and the various ways in which art historical references camouflage into these contemporary narratives, reflect the intricate juxtaposition of overarching social constructs and individual instincts, as the drama of the human body encapsulates the multidimensionality of today existence.
Enigmatic and fuelled by a yearning for intimacy, the works on show tap into the surrealist territory, dreamlike arena where myriads of subjectivities take shape and perform.
Rebecca Brodskis' (*1988) repertoire of graceful characters plays out against anonymous backgrounds. Stripped of any context and suspended in a permanent motionless present, their personalities, desires, stories, in one word, their distinctiveness can only be inferred by their pose. In her resonant compositions, Diane Dal-Pra (*1991) dissects and reconstructs identity into a convoluted entanglement of accessories, costumes and body. Figures and objects which bury them merge into one as likewise our persona inexorably blends with the image we construct. Bambou Gili's (*1996) uncanny paintings elicit a fluid tension as cerulean tones and light shards loom over her non-chalant long-armed figures. Vivid with symbolism and imbued with the aesthetics of her Mexican heritage, Maria Fragoso's (*1995) works on paper have an alluring tactile quality. Through her typical use of red colour as a passe-partout, the artist unlocks inner desires and the instinctive quest for intimacy.
Rebecca Brodskis (*1988, France) currently lives and works in Paris. She studied painting at the Ateliers des Beaux Arts de la Ville de Paris and at Central St. Martins College of Art and Design in London (2010). She had solo exhibitions at Steve Turner LA (2020); Kristin Hjellegjerde Gallery, Berlin (2020); Septième Galerie, Paris (2019); Gallery Mario Kreuzberg, Berlin (2019) Sputnik Gallery, Tel Aviv (2017).
Diane Dal-Pra (*1991, France) currently lives and works in Paris. She graduated with a BA in Design from the University Michel de Montaigne, Bordeaux (2013) and received special mention from the jury for a postgraduate in Art from Lesarènes, Toulouse (2015). Dal-Pra has collaborated with prestigious brand such as Gucci (2019). She was artist in residency at Palazzo Monti, Brescia, Italy (2019). Shewas also part of a residency project at Villa Noailles (Hyères, France). Solo exhibitions include: "Acqua in Bocca", Galerie Derouillon, Paris (2020), "Of Course You Are", Cob Gallery, London (2020.
Maria Fragoso (*1995, Mexico) lives and works in Mexico City. She has a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Maryland Institute College Art (MICA). She has been artist in residency at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, Yale Norfolk School of Art, Vermont Studio Center Fellowship and Palazzo Monti, Italy. Recent exhibitions include "Miami is a Beach", 1969 Gallery, NY; "A Very Anxious Feeling: Voices of Unrest in the American Experience" (20 Years of the Beth Rudin DeWoody Collection), Taubman Museum of Art, Roanoke, VA; Second Smile, The Hole, NY; "New on the block", Machete, Mexico City; and "No Place Like", Field Projects, NY. She was recently nominated for the 2021 Forbes 30 Under 30 in Art & Style.
Bambou Gili (*1996, New York), lives and works in NY. She has earned a BA in Psychology & Studio Art from the New York University. Her work has been presented at Arsenal Contemporary, NY (2020), Monya Rowe Gallery, NY (2020), PUBLIC Gallery, London (2020), Wallplay, NY (2019), The Commons at The Barney Building, NY (2018).