Tuesday, December 4, 2012

BEAUTY: Mixed Media--Vadis Turner

I love soft sculpture, and the work of New York artist Vadis Turner not only explores the medium it is made of but explores the larger meaning and cultural context of the fabric itself. Fashioned from items (ribbons, antique quilts, vintage clothing and lingerie, vintage bedsheets, handkerchiefs, and vintage gloves) that have connections to femininity, cultural and physical womanhood, dowries, betrothal, marriage, and the commodification of a woman's sex, her work speaks to how ideas and expected behaviors have been imposed on women from, yes I will say it, the patriarchy.

Her abstract wall pieces made from satin ribbons and antique quilts function on their own.

But the aforementioned artist commentary on femininity and feminism is quite apparent in her installation work. Just take a look at her wedding cakes made from lingerie or tampons, a woman's pelvis made from throw-away costume jewelry, and her piece entitled Vanity (My Beautiful Education) in which she cuts up MFA and BFA diplomas to make fake eyelashes, jewelry, and press-on nails.

Top to bottom: Forest Fire; Primrose Path Engulfed In Smoke; Red Mold Melt; Ripe Dirt/ Fresh Burial; Scorch; Best In Show; Bridal Lingerie Cake; Burial Feast (at the Brooklyn Museum Artist's Ball); Pelvis; Tampon Cake; Vanity (My Beautiful Education); Vanity (My Beautiful Education) detail


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