Antonia Dias Leite
LUXE GALLERY: 53 Stanton Street (between Eldridge & Forsythe) New York, NY 10002
HOURS: Wednesday- Saturday 11-6p, Sunday 12- 6p
ARTIST RECEPTION: Friday June 19, 2009 6-8p
LUXE Gallery is delighted to present the first solo exhibition by New York and Rio de Janeiro-based artist Antonia Dias Leite entitled, ANTONIA’S LINE. The new video works, Mildred’s Farewell and Miroir, Miroir, will screen at Luxe Gallery from June 19 – July 25, 2009.
Miroir, Miroir is short and sweet. A pointed work that digs deep into our definition of beauty and comes up laughing. We see the artist seated at a cosmetic littered vanity, reflected in several mirrors. She gradually applies make-up, growing more alluring with each line until she begins to use broad almost violent strokes, blackening her eyes and drawing a huge red ridiculous mouth. She looks as if she is mimicking a young child at mother’s dressing table except her movements betray a knowing exasperation. Finally, in a what seems a bitter capitulation, she rubs it all together, her expression stone then mocking. A carnivalesque soundtrack fades in at this point in the piece adding to the vaudevillian air. So, it is a bit of a sinister laugh, as the beautiful artist stares through a clown-like mask, face a smear of red and black, into a mirror and our culpability; her ridicule deftly reflecting our own.
With manic sensuality, Mildred’s Farewell weaves in and out of abstraction, disintegrating and reconstituting seamlessly in a total act of ambiguity, lusciously brushing away our rigid categories. Floating in timeless, hidden places, figures, faces and bodies reveal themselves awash in light. Textures we barely recognize hint at objects and then transform away, gathering up the reality of impermanence with a lawless combination of matter and non-matter. Dias Leite’s mountainous intimacy lulls us and then turns wrathful giving us a slight finger waving at our assumption of trajectory and anything sound and steady. Very minimal tones and sounds add to this exposition on the transient, her myth of presence. And Antonia leads us through her tale of that myth like an aesthetic Dickens’ ghost, cradling us in memory and then violating us with existence. Mildred’s Farewell skewers presence and absence with a visceral tactility that posits the anachronistic showdown of mind and body as a raveled earthly whole. Antonia Dias Leite questions our instincts as well as our reasoned justifications for distancing ourselves from them.
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