Featured image: Melissa Meier, Paula Triptych – Laced Series
Curated by Kate Stern at bG Gallery
May 8th 2021 – June 7th 2021 (Online exhibition continues through August)
Preview the exhibition here:
Brazilian artist Melissa Meier is internationally recognized for her evocative 3-dimensional installations, found-object sculptures, collages and photography.
Laced / Skins / Masks showcases three bodies of the artist’s work, together for the first time.
Meier has chosen vintage doily patterns and has superimposed them on the faces of female subjects. The shapes of the faces, expressions, and attitudes of the women dictate the choice of doily. Doily patterns are the ultimate symbol of elegance, femininity and propriety, yet one wonders if they also represent the repression of women.
In Meier’s Laced works, the doily is cut into the face. Often, the more “dainty” and intricate the pattern, the more aggressive the mask appears. Through this skin, women with attitude stare back. While Meier has photographed her chosen subjects like police mug shots, the women are not weak and afraid. They are empowered and ready to fight.
With “Skins”, Meier has created sculptural clothing hybrids, utilizing natural materials such as sticks, stones, moss, eggshells, wheat, rice, crystals, corn, feathers, pinecones, sweet gumballs, and shells. A prolific artist, the list of materials grows continuously.
Inspired by Brazilian Carnival and Native American skin-walkers, her wearable constructions blend female empowerment with a self-created mythology. The costumes are developed into moveable, wearable sculptures that are brought to life as performance art works, serve as independent sculptures, and in their final documented form, as archival fine art photographs.
In Meier’s photographic staged scenes, her handmade clay masks are used as a form of expressed emotion rather than concealed disguise. Further, depending on how the variables work together, she is often surprised how each mask takes on its own personality, its own story. Although the masks are not sculpted realistically, they appear to breath and live, whether a person is posing behind them or not.
Note from the curator:
Melissa Meier’s work – plain and simple, astounds me. The way her mind works and the materials she chooses and the finesse with which she crafts her work. I refer to her as my “Art Crush”: the artist whose work stirs my passions and fills me with awe.
I have had the pleasure of working with Melissa Meier on various museum group exhibitions spanning a twenty-year period and have seen her work evolve firsthand. No matter what form her enormous talent leads her to, she never fails to impress.
Over the last several years, the artist and I have been developing the concept and body of work for solo exhibition designed for a museum setting, some of which is joyfully exhibited here at the bG Gallery.