@Saphira & Ventura Gallery
Saphira & Ventura Gallery NY
4 W 43rd Street, Suite 416 – New York, NY – 10036
(Between Fifth and Sixth Avenues)
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Weekends by appointment only.
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THE LEGEND OF POMEGRANATE
In “The Legend of Pomegranate, one of the artist’s latest work, the “Queen” holds a plate with a split pomegranate in her right hand and a knife in her left. The pomegranate is one of the oldest and most beloved fruits in the history of art. It refers to the myth of Proserpina: a young girl kidnapped by the king of Hades, realm of the dead, to make her his spouse. She’s the symbol of the never-ending succession of seasons: Spring and Summer, symbols of birth and life, when Proserpina spends time in nature with her mother; Autumn and Winter, symbols of aging and death, when she has to come back to Hades to spend time with her groom. Those two cycles are intrinsically bonded to each other and one is the extension of the other. The knife in the Queen’s left hand refers to the obscure side of things. The “bright red” is one of the primary colors, referring to life, blood and summer. The crown is made of dark red roses, in honor of a girl that (maybe) embodies Proserpina.
THE GOLDEN APPLE
This work has more in common with the fable than the Bible. Here we have the Apple, the most ancient and meaningful fruit. But this is not the instrument that led to the Original Sin and the banishment from Heaven. This Apple is part of those natural elements of the fable, (such as trees, beans, chickens, geese and sheeps) that provides the owner with wealth and fortune.
“I wish for the audience to give his own meaning to the painting. All of the apples on the tree are red, with the exception of one. Is it the tree the magic element or maybe the young girl? Was it her that, with her magical touch transformed the apple’s skin into gold, as perhaps the color of her dress suggests? I’m as fascinated by the ambiguity as I am at putting it into my works to instill a sense of apprehension, fluctuating between pleasure and fear. I see the uncertainty as an instrument of growth and self awarness.”
China red is the color of the Chinese flag. The “lucky color” for both Eastern and Western people, and the true protagonist of this painting. The artist got inspiration from the classic and a bit kitsch image of the Eastern world picked up from movies and books during her adolescence. Since her Queens are a product of fantasy, China Red wears a renaissance gown, and has Caucasian traits from China with the artist’s blue eyes. She also inherited from the Chinese culture the big Opera hat, the precious nail covers (made of silver, gold and gemstones) and the leaf ornament, stolen by an ancient Chinese shield. “Contemporary culture gives us the opportunity to confront in real time with ancient worlds that are slowly disappearing. On the other hand, with my art, I humbly aim to make them coexist, through corruption of styles and aesthetic experiences.”
MOON MOTH POUNOU QUEEN
This work is part of the “Pounou Queens” series, inspired by the tribal Pounou Masks of Gabon. Those masks, consecrated to the cult of ancestors, were worn by men only, during religious celebrations. The masks represented young girls with their eyes shut and elaborate hairstyles. Note, the Pounou Queens share with them only the appearance, not the meaning.
Moon Moth Pounou Queen stands out from the black background with her pure white dress, skin and hair. The white color is a tribute to kaolin, that was used to make the young girls’ faces white, to represent death. In this case white stands also for virginity, bride, moon and moth.
There is a big beautiful white moth on her dress but also an Acheronita moth (known as death’s-head) on her head, as a symbol of the caducity of beauty. As a contemporary touch, the amazing Chanel dress. While diamonds, gold and black varnished jewels come from original Tudor jewels. “My Queens are the product of multiple factors, especially roots and culture, as am I. Even if they’re young, beautiful girls, in some way they’re me”.