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Indepth Arts News:

"Alessandra Exposito: Greener Pastures"
2006-08-24 until 2006-10-07
Mixed Greens Gallery
New York, NY, USA United States of America

Mixed Greens is thrilled to announce their second solo show with Alessandra Exposito. In this exhibition, Exposito presents large-scale paintings and an installation of animal skulls. For the past few years, Exposito has created small sculptures using chicken skulls. While the rooster is a national symbol in Cuba, Exposito purposefully chose its female counterpart to be the subject of her work. The adorned skulls comment on the use of large, exotic game as decoration and use the hen as a vehicle to explore power, gender roles and the body.

In this exhibition, Exposito broadens her vocabulary and constructs a "trophy wall" of farm animals and beloved pets. She flirts with machismo stereotypes associated with the "hunter" to create a wall of skulls that appropriate and exploit trendy accoutrements of femininity. Over a dozen chicken skulls hang together with skulls of a horse, dogs, cats and mice.

Each skull's tender decoration and meticulous detailing evokes the intimacy of a fetish object, while their large sculpted horns imply a more grandiose history. Tiny jewels are used as accents that draw attention to the marvelous intricacies of the skull with its many hollows, fragile projections, and lacy contours. The animal's memorial portrait is painted on the skull along with its fictitious name, habitat or owner.

In the north gallery, pieces of the trophy wall are repeated in Exposito's ambitious paintings. In each, a life-sized self-portrait floats among antlers, dead game, jewels and bullet holes on the canvas. Elements of the feminized hunt appear and surround the figure. Just as the trophy wall blurs the boundary between feminine and masculine, the entrancing figures appear to exist in an ambiguous in-between space.

Alessandra Exposito received her MFA from the Mason Gross School of the Arts in 1998. Since then, group exhibition venues include Ambrosino Gallery, Miami, the American Academy of Arts and Letters, New York and Art in General, New York. Prior museum exhibitions include "Open House, Working in Brooklyn," at the Brooklyn Museum of Art (2004), "Miniatures" at the Jersey City Museum (2004), and "El Museo's Biennial" at El Museo del Barrio, New York (2002). Alessandra was the recipient of a Marie Walsh Sharpe Studio (2003-2004) and a MacDowell Colony residence (2001). In 2005, she won the Richard and Hinda Rosenthal Foundation Award and the Purchase Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

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