NEW YORK, NY (January 19th, 2013) — Last Rites Gallery presents Sine Qua Non, new works by Alexandra Manukyan, in what will be her first solo show at the gallery and will feature ten paintings. Manukyan celebrates her archetypal female protagonists as their psychological struggle is played out in a theatrical juxtaposition of costume, dance and particularly in this body, dominance.
Influenced by Renaissance contortions and backgrounds, the women present in Sine Qua Non exude an air of confidence and control as if they've accepted their situation and will be in absolute power of what is to follow. Manukyan uses old master techniques and processes with contemporary women and fashions to address timeless issues. Symbols of love, destruction and evanescence are present in many of these paintings signifying the universal struggle present when embarking, sustaining and often times ending romantic relations. The title, Sine Qua Non suggests that each female must face the inevitable or perhaps, that risk, pain and conflict are all vital components that cannot be undermined in love. It is that dichotomy that ignites the passions; the internal psyches and subconscious desires that are our true driving forces that will either forge something new or destroy us altogether.
Manukyan is a master of her medium. Her brushstrokes are precise, yet slightly loose as they mimic various textures from one extreme to the other: soft feathers and layers of tulle delicately enable while armor and leather courageously restrict. Delicate and creamy skin tones are contrasted by playful and colorful tattoos and garb. Manukyan plays on these surface dualities to perhaps comment on those that are forced to be kept underneath our skin and in our minds and hearts. For without pain and strife, how would one recognize happiness? These women like all females, learn through experience and although may feel alone in their struggle, are collectively connected.
NEW YORK, NY (January 19th, 2013) — Last Rites Gallery presents In the Dark, new works by Yoko d'Holbachie, in what will be her first solo show at the gallery and will feature ten paintings. In the Dark commences the artist's departure from her traditional blazing palettes and candy-coated landscapes as her chimeric creatures take residence in lightless caves and darkened depths.
Staying true to her succulently sweet yet latently threatening creatures in this body, d'Holbachie's darker palette embraces an alternative side of her inhabitant's world and allows for their individual majesty and brilliance to shine through. Stemming from past and contemporary mythologies, Haitian, Egyptian and Greek deities are magically morphed into otherworldly, futuristic beings with an amalgamation of appendages, tusks, horns, eyes, tendrils tentacles, wings and antennas. Despite their mélange of body parts, each one of d'Holbachie's chimeras offers welcoming gazes and nonthreatening bodily gestures. The ostensibly hostile horns and tentacles beckon the viewer to enter their reality and conjoin the fantastical world of d'Holbachie with their own enchanted realms. d'Holbachie takes the often times grotesque and menacing features of what we know and purports them into a new existence which asks the viewer to examine their own tenets. Her imaginative and unique beings suggest we reconsider our own realities and interpretations and accept where we were, are and will be as living creatures of this universe.