Holidays in an American Desert
Blythe Projects is pleased to present emerging Brazilian artist, Dias Sardenberg in her first United States solo exhibition. Holidays in an American Desert will feature monumental, multi-media paintings and her latest work, “The Mocambo Suite”; rich and intimate portraits re-appropriated entirely from her signature medium, vintage kimono silks. Mining such diverse sources as art brut, Fauvism, popular culture and animist iconography, Sardenberg’s work reveals an anachronistic world of natural order and chaos, teeming with sensuality, mysticism and sophistication.
Spanning 9 by 16 feet, the charged, fantastical tableau of Holidays in an American Desert reveals primal female forms dancing amongst the saguaros, a 21st century beauty lying on the sand and jewel-encrusted desert floor embracing the tail of an orange and black checkerboard panther, and a blue man following the traces of an other-worldly spirit… all while two American tourists look on from the safety of their 1959 DeSoto Adventurer convertible. The physical toughness of the collage and compositional planes reflects undercurrents of violence and psycho-sexual tension in contemporary society.
“The Mocambo Suite” is loosely based on the notorious 1940s West Hollywood nightclub, frequented by Marlene Dietrich, Rock Hudson, James Cagney and Grace Kelly. Of the work, Shamim M. Momin--founder of the non-profit arts organization, LAND (the Los Angeles Nomadic Division) and Adjunct Curator for the Whitney Museum of American Art—says, “The artist’s stated desire to use the typically hidden layers of the kimono…adds a conceptual layer to the images: a reveal, as it were, of the faces or identities hidden beneath the ‘outer layer of one’s public persona.”
Born in Espírito Santo, Brazil, Dias Sardenberg spent 20 years traveling between São Paulo and Los Angeles with the textile trade and later, designing haute couture. A solo exhibition of her work was recently exhibited at the Museu Afro Brasil in São Paulo, Brazil.