Opening to the public on May 26, 2022, “Insight” features artwork by five artists of various nationalities – Jesús Inglés and Arantza Sestayo (Spanish), Alexandra Klimas (Dutch), Roman Pankov (Ukrainian), and Anne-Marie Zanetti (Australian).
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Every artist creates their work for different reasons – some look to tell a story, some want to capture a particular moment in time, while others simply want to create something. Regardless of the intention, artwork can be incredibly powerful and moving, often inspiring others… but it can also tell us a lot about the person who created the work.
On one hand, “Insight” sets out to explore the viewer’s connection with an artwork in a direct way. In nearly all the works featured in the exhibit, the subject is making eye contact with their audience. This not only creates a personal and intimate moment, but it forces us to give deeper consideration for who or what we are observing… it is in those instances we truly develop a relationship with the artist and their muse.
To connect all the dots, “Insight” also seeks to better understand the artist and why they create what they create. While there can be endless reasons why someone produces artwork, there is usually an underlying desire to ‘say something’. For instance, in the case of Alexandra Klimas’ works, her preferred models are farm animals; her favorite being Black Pied cattle. While these creatures are beautiful in their own right, Klimas intentionally paints animals for the meat industry.
By painting these animals, viewers are compelled to reassess their relationship – particularly in the sense of society and consumption habits, overproduction, and the general way we treat animals. As Klimas says, “I am not an activist, I am an artist and I make art. Art should touch people and make them think. I don’t want to shock people. I am satisfied when people feel more connected to this group of ‘forgotten’ animals.”
In a very different way, Anne-Marie Zanetti draws from personal experience when creating her compositions. As she puts it, “I am intrigued by memories from my childhood – how fleeting yet important each can be. The emotions that accompany these past moments can bring valuable insights if we are willing to delve into the shadows of our emotional landscape.”
Her featured works are part of her broader ‘Reminisce’ series, which investigates the complexity of early adulthood. Her protagonist is a young woman owning her sexuality and strength… often taking a sensual pose, her subject invites attention. Yet at the same time she hides behind sunglasses, as if to protect her identity, or even her innocence. For Anne-Marie, the process of painting has become a cherished method of unearthing the wisdom that is found through soulful and emotional exploration. The way she sees it, it is “my endeavor to heal, nurture, and release a very tumultuous time of my life, transforming my recollections into something beautiful, confident, and feminine.”
No matter the reason for its creation, artwork has the ability to transcend cultural and language barriers; it persists as a formative mode of non-verbal communication. It can create connections between individuals, with our environment, or a deeper understanding of ourselves. Whatever it may be, artwork provides valuable insights to us all in so many ways.
“Insight” will open on Thursday, May 26, 2022 at Rehs Contemporary (New York). The exhibit will remain on view through June 24.
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