There’s something a little creepy about Teodora Axente’s paintings. At first I don’t know what to make of the beautifully depicted humans wrapped in aluminum foil as if it’s the most natural thing in the world.
In Becoming 7, a woman lies face down on the floor, sprawled across several pie dishes as though she’s taking part in some space-age housewife crucifixion. It’s a little awkward and confusing to say the least, but that’s the point.
Her work centers on “the duality of mind and spirit, the two spheres of existence between which humans oscillate in an attempt to uncover themselves.” The desire to reshape oneself, something essentially human, is represented in her paintings by aluminium, a material that is eternally malleable. The foil reflects and refracts, giving off a shine that seems noble at first glance, but is actually false and cheap.
The strange contortions of her subjects symbolize individuals in a state of inner crisis, burying their heads in the seat of a chair or balancing a heap of trash bags on their head. The manmade materials accentuate this conflict, manifesting internal anxiety as physical matter.
WHERE TO SEE
Made of Matter is on view at the Ana Cristea Gallery through November 24.