“At the bottom of enmity between strangers lies indifference.”
MIAMI, FL—Mindy Solomon Gallery is proud to exhibit the first Miami solo show of the work of artist Christina West. Intimate Strangers opens May 29th—July 3rd, 2015 at 172 NW 24th St. An opening reception with the artist will take place Friday, May 29th, from 6—9pm, with refreshments provided by Gramps Bar.
Intimate Strangers is an installation of Christina A. West’s boldly colored figurative sculptures, which aim to highlight a sense of isolation within society. Using scale shifts as a metaphor for psychological distance, the figures range from larger-than-life to half-size. Rendered mid-gesture in acts of either dressing or disrobing, figures gaze toward others without connection. West’s stylized yet realistically sculpted bodies nod to the classical nude, while asserting a vulnerability and lack of idealization that firmly place the work in a contemporary context.
In a recent interview with Garth Clark on CFILE, West states in regards to her work:
“The strongest influence is life itself. I think the core of my work grows from the difficulty I have in social interactions. For a long time—until I started teaching—social situations caused me a lot of anxiety, to the point that in high school I never spoke in class unless called on, and even through college, conversations that would be considered casual made me extremely uncomfortable.
“I had a hard time reading people’s body language and facial expressions as they responded to me, which made me hypersensitive to how I was being perceived. I loved watching people from afar and trying to understand them, but because that fascination was tinged with tension, it was great fuel for art making. Since teaching, I have become much more comfortable socially, but that anxiety still is always lurking in the background.”
West employs a clinical detachment in the representation of the human form—a kind of frustrated silence that lacks the power to break the barrier between human beings. Her installation conveys the sense of loneliness that one can feel in being surrounded by others, while also suggesting an atmosphere of unrealized sexual tension. Variation in proportion and limited color palette will complete the provocative display of figurative elements.
About Christina West
Christina West sculpts realistically rendered human figures that exist at a strange scale and in bold, unnatural colors. The figures are frozen in motion, inviting our gazes and encouraging projection about the nature of their actions. West lives in Atlanta, Georgia, where she teaches at Georgia State University. She received a BFA from Siena Heights University in 2003 and an MFA from Alfred University in 2006.
She has been an artist-in-residence at the Archie Bray Foundation, The Bemis Center for Contemporary Art, and The Clay Studio in Philadelphia. Her work has been supported additionally by a grants and fellowships from the New York Foundation for the Arts, the George Sugarman Foundation, the Mary L. Nohl Artist Fund, and the Southeastern College Art Conference.