Odeta Xheka

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Odeta Xheka

About the Artist

Working across painting, collage, and digital media, Odeta Xheka’s story parallels the highs and lows that countless women artists face as they negotiate the demands of daily pressures of the family with the aspiration to make ambitious art that is both sensitive&cerebral. Within an existing culture that likes things to be simple and pigeonholed, Xheka keeps a firm eye on the very thin line that divides sincerity of expression from sheer banality.
As a woman, fated to be narrated rather than the narrator, she makes art to claim her voice because art is the opposite of speechlessness.
The National Gallery of Albania, Annmarie Sculpture Garden, Waterworks Museum, Tifton Museum, Maryland Federation of Art, Brooklyn Art Council, and WoArtBlog are some of the venues that have hosted her work in recent years.

Artist Statement

Drowning Depths – Between Solitude and Loneliness (Home) is a multi-part digital collage series reflecting on who gets to be the subject of the story taking place at home, who matters behind the scene, and who our compassion and interest should be directed at as a matter of both personal and political will. A series of overly familiar domestic scenes are altered to appear disorienting, almost menacing. Devoid of the human presence, they lack warmth despite the bejeweled tones thus issuing an invitation to think carefully about who and how fully one gets to inhabit these spaces making use of the visual imagination to delve into philosophical probing.

Faustine Badrichani

Faustine Badrichani

About the Artist

Faustine Badrichani is a French artist based in New-York. Her work focuses on the female body and is an exploration of femininity, showcasing colorful women silhouettes.
Over the past ten years, Badrichani – with the exploratory mind characteristic to self-taught artists – has developed an extensive artistic practice, from oil paintings to sculpture (direct plaster) and focusing on works on paper and acrylic paintings in the past few years
Faustine works from life, and invites models to pose in her New York Studio. “ For me, painting women is a play between what is universal and what is intimate, and this exploration is endless”. The female body has always been a central figure in her practice, and she has developed different series of works around this theme, creating her own graphic universe, and showcasing a unique use of the color blue throughout her work.
Faustine Badrichani is represented in France by Esther et Paul gallery. In June 2021 she had a solo show in Paris, named “D’abord la Mer”. Her work can be seen in group shows in New-York with various galleries / curators ( Insight Art Space, Untitled Art Space, Brooklyn Collective) as well as in multiple exclusive and curated only platforms (Artsy, Saatchi and ArtinRes)

Artist Statement

I am interested in showing female intimacy, how it looks and feels. Under a female gaze, I feature empowered women who exist for and by themselves, away from any form of fetishization.
In my practice, the body is not just an external shield or shell – it is inherent to female identity, and painting it is a way of revealing the very essence of femininity.
My body of work ranges from graphic representations of the multiple facets of female identity, to a more narrative representation of women, whether in the intimacy of their home or escaping from their daily whereabouts. They could be anywhere at any given moment, mysterious beings somehow suspended in place and time.
From a formal perspective, my work plays around with negative space and a reduced color palette to form contrasting silhouettes. Shapes create lines, guiding the viewer into the essence of women.
This endless exploration of femininity connects the universal and the intimate: my characters don’t have distinct features or identifiable faces, in an effort to showcase women as a universal entity, an essence of womanhood. Conversely, their nudity reveals their intimacy. Those women are every woman, each of them unique and universal.

Mei Fung Elizabeth Chan

Mei Fung Elizabeth Chan

About the Artist

1988, Mei Fung Elizabeth Chan, Hong Kong
Mei Fung is a Long Island-based printmaker and mother of one. She was born and raised in Kowloon, Hong Kong. Her Chinese culture deeply influences her body of work.
She received her BFA from the Bridgewater State University in 2014 with a concentration in printmaking. After graduation she was selected to become an intern at Women’s Studio Workshop. Mei received her Masters of Fine Arts in printmaking from Rhode Island School of Design. She then travelled to Venice, France and South Africa for artist residency.

About Artist’s Work:

Portraiture and animals allow me to express each character, emotions and personalities. I mainly use self-portrait to create complex narratives related to contemporary society. Plants, animals and objects have their own symbolic meanings. It is something so close to us that we did not even recognize them.
In printmaking, I utilize both eastern and western style of way to design my body of work. I have been experimenting with woodcut and intaglio to create my images. The meticulous fine line reveals my Chinese culture. Most of my works are created for myself. It reflects my emotions, characteristics and body languages.

Heather Drazyenn

Heather Drazyenn

About the Artist

Laura Cannon has worked across a range of disciplines including painting, printmaking, illustration, and photography. Her main concentration is on her semi-abstract watercolor works on canvas.

About the Artist

Heather Drayzen is an artist and educator living in Brooklyn, New York. She earned her BFA from School of Visual Arts and her MAT from Rhode Island School of Design. She is continuing her education through the New York City Crit Club.

About Artist’s Work:

I primarily paint portraits and interior scenes featuring myself, family and friends in moments from everyday life. These small oil paintings on canvas are rendered with gestural brushwork to capture intimacy through iridescent light and color. My approach evolves out of years of academic portrait painting and drawing classes, however I allow the work to fall apart and come back together to serve the narrative.

At an early age, I lost my father to cancer. Growing up, I frequently pored over family photos–analyzing the nuances of relationships, love and loss in the images. These nuances make up the psychological undertone of my paintings. In 2019, I experienced a health scare–this, combined with the pandemic in 2020, cultivated an urgency in my work where documenting my life and memories became intrinsic to my practice. All my paintings are vignettes within the larger narrative of my life and I hope they suggest a tender complexity and emotional depth to the human experience.

Cindy Ruskin

Cindy Ruskin

About the Artist

Cindy Ruskin is a self-taught artist who received her BA in Fine Arts (art history) from Harvard. Originally from South Africa, she lived and worked in New York as a teaching artist with low-income children for more than 20 years and recently relocated to Connecticut. In NYC, she devoted herself to community art projects including the creation of a large mosaic for the Lower Eastside Girls Club’s new building; she also ran the art program at Avenues for Justice, an alternative-to-prison organization for juvenile offenders.

While she focused on teaching, Cindy occasionally showed her own work, including two benefit exhibitions: a one-week solo show at the Matthew Marks Gallery in 2006 to benefit The Duk Lost Boys Clinic in Sudan, and a group show in 2020 at Fergus McCaffrey to benefit the Girls Club. In 2009 she was awarded a gallery space for a solo show in Times Square by the arts organization, ChaShaMa.

Cindy’s paintings were selected for three magazines this year: The Purposeful Mayonnaise, Clover and Bee, and All SHE Makes art magazine.

About Artist’s Work:

I’m currently working on a series of paintings about seduction in nature in which I imagine the hidden dwellings and “bowers of bliss” where nymphs, succubi, goddesses and other femme fatales — from poetry, literature, mythology and the Bible — lure the unwary traveller.

Female power and femininity in nature are themes that I return to over and over again in my work. This series evolved when a recent accident with my hand temporarily kept me from painting. I decided to experiment with symmetry by scanning some of my oil paintings into my computer, and creating mirror images of each one digitally, transforming the originals into Rorschach paintings. As I experimented with patterns and symmetry in nature – doubles and mirror images – these paintings took on new meaning, heightening the erotic secrecy and strangeness, while revealing the darkness that lurked within the lushness. As I added hints of feminine sensuality to each imagined landscape, the entrances to each enchantress’s web emerged.

Lesley bodzy

Lesley bodzy

About the Artist

Lesley Bodzy is a sculpture and painter working in New York and Houston. Bodzey holds a BA from Mount Holyoke College and has studied art at Hunter College, the Art Students League of New York, and The School of the Art Institute of Chicago (MFA). Her work is represented by galleries in Saugerties, NY, Houston, TX, Williamsburg, VA, and Jersey City, NJ and it has been exhibited widely across the United States and abroad. Recent shows include ChaShaMa and Sculptors Alliance in New York City. Bodzy also recently exhibited a selection of her work at Holy Art Gallery in London, UK, Site:Brooklyn, Emerge Gallery in Saugerties, NY, the Mattatuck Museum in Waterbury, CT, the Susquehanna Art Museum in Harrisburg, PA, the Meadows Gallery in Tyler, TX.

About Artist’s Work:

I am a sculptor and painter working in New York City and Houston. My body of work explores the ways in which materiality can give form and visibility to psychologically complex dimensions. Trauma, loss, and desire are recurring themes I approach through material processes as I devise a personal metaphorical language. My work is biographical in essence but my aesthetic language allows viewers to find their place among the bare narrative outlines that hold each piece together. My projects often involve series through which a loose narrative can be traced. Each takes on various forms intended to position the viewer as a witness as well as a co-author, creates new and unpredictable cycles of thoughts and associations, and provides an experimental opportunity to challenge one’s assumptions and perspectives. My practice is steeped in a genuine passion for materials and their expressive potential. I often let materials guide me through the creative process. Their malleability and resistance point me toward a subject that emerges as part of a meditative concentration — a tactile and open-ended dialogue that often results in a deeper reflection and comprehension of personal struggles. Manipulating, rearranging, and layering become gestural statements I perform to process events from the past and exorcise, through the material presence of the finished piece, their impact on the present. The aesthetics that characterize my work are in part informed by the sculptural abstractism of the 1970s — especially the work of female pioneers like Lynda Benglis, Lynn Umlauf, and Merrill Wagner, artists that have been strong influences in my research. As a result of these influences, in my relationship with materials, I favor open form and ambiguities, privileging aesthetic solutions that gesture towards the imperfect and incomplete. My minimalist aesthetics are often counterpointed by bold colors that dramatize each piece in order to attract the viewer’s attention to what is often concealed or barely perceptible in our lives. Much of my practice thus revolves around the notion of monumentalizing the ephemeral through the creation of an idiosyncratic aesthetic language. It is in this context that my work can be seen to have a psychoanalytical/introspective edge. Some of my works are opportunities to reconsider “hard to come to terms with” circumstances, dramatic events, or fleeting/causal moments that nonetheless end up defining our personalities, our self-esteem, and our relationships with others. I hold an MFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago and a BA from Mount Holyoke College and I have studied art at Hunter College, and the Art Students League of New York. My work is represented by galleries in Saugerties, NY, Houston, TX, Williamsburg, VA and Jersey City, NJ and it has been exhibited widely across the United States and abroad. Recent shows include ChaShaMa and Sculptors Alliance in New York City. I also recently exhibited a selection of my work at Holy Art Gallery in London, UK, Site:Brooklyn, Emerge Gallery in Saugerties, NY, the Mattatuck Museum in Waterbury, CT, the Susquehanna Art Museum in Harrisburg, PA and the Meadows Gallery in Tyler, TX.

Find the Artist on: 

https://www.lesleybodzy.com/

Rachel Kremidas

Rachel Kremidas

Artist Bio

Rachel Kremidas, raised in Indianapolis, received her BFA from Indiana University in 2009. Following this, she moved to New York, where she has lived and worked since. She completed her MA in clinical art therapy in 2020, which informs the psychodynamic principles explored in her artwork. She has been an artist in residence in Draw International, Akumal Artist Residency, and the In Rivers Gallery. She was the recipient of the Harry Engle Scholarship in Painting, Pygmalion Award, and runner-up for the Happy Artist Prize. Additionally, she has curated fundraising gallery events that have raised money for the ACLU, NYAAF, and the National Center for Transgender Equality. Kremidas has exhibited in New York as well as internationally, including France and Mexico.

Artist Statement

These portraits offer a visualization of interpersonal boundaries via the concept of gaze. These masks, shown through self-portrait photography, indicate the impact of external perspectives on one’s internal sense of self. Displaced facial features can clarify or convolute what lies beneath. As a woman and an artist, I become either vulnerable or empowered by the gaze of the audience. The difficult process of taking blind portraits from underneath these masks adds a performative aspect to the creative process, and becomes a poetic expression of self-development. Meanwhile, the sculpted eyes meet the audience with their gaze, creating an interactive experience with these portraits.

What does “Gaze” mean to you & how do you connect it to your work?

Gaze, in the context of these works, represents how psychological spaces converge. When I am seen, I must consider the environmental and cultural factors in that seeing, and then how those factors have impacted my vision of myself. Therefore, seeing becomes an act of introspection and development. This is true as a human and an artist; vision can be considered as a spatial interaction.