[imagebrowser id=104] We dared to enter this living garden at The Hole in the Bowery. Arte Fuse didn’t know what to expect when it attended the show “Giverny” by E.V. Day and Kembra Pfahler last March 30, 2012. If you have to go with the Monet theme then Kathy Grayson went full throttle with another spectacular show, which distinguishes this venue as always unique in its production and featured art.
The works on view are the collaboration between two artists. In 2010, E.V. Day was awarded the Munn Artists Residency by the Versailles Foundation to live on Monet’s estate in Giverny. It’s apparent that the inspiration was instantaneous to immediately think of a photography shoot evoking the iconic Monet scenery. But a straight out Monet reference isn’t going to cut it.
In August, Day invited Kembra Pfahler, a performance artist, to collaborate with her in the creation for this series of photos. Day’s signature refracted photographs were suited to Pfahler’s otherworldly attire. With her body painted red & towering wig hairdo – it was the hot knife through butter – juxtaposing the very alien-like element to the lush verdant world of the gardens in Giverny.
Playboy.com has funded this exhibition for its duration at the Hole, which was magically transformed into a small replica of the historical landmark garden with plants Monet used as famous subjects in his paintings. The entire staging is transporting you into the world that Day and Pfahler might have worked in to explore the subjects of power and sex. Each artist brings their concept and imbues their signature touch to twist the perception of aesthetics. Dainty and pretty need a jolt of the brash and unnatural to keep it from being too idealized. In each picture produced, Day remakes the world of Monet’s orderly garden scenery into an alternative paradise for Pfahler to come in as the ubiquitous creature bent on tipping the balanced scale. Monet was obsessive in staging the ideal garden to paint his well-known works. In the same degree of control, each of the artists exerted their creative stamp. Day refracted and digitally matched reflections on photos while Pfahler pushed the boundaries with the character inspired from Playboy’s Femlin, which injected stark sexual oddity.
Monet is very sacred to a lot of the Impressionist lovers but in art – there is always room for reinterpretation or appropriation. Both Day and Pfahler dip their fingers into the placid crystal clear pool of what is considered conventional beauty and its rippled effect penetrates deeply into the heady realm where sex plucks out the fleeting bloom of innocence.
Giverny by E.V. Day & Kembra Pfahler / On View: March 30 – April 24, 2012Gallery Hours: Tuesday – Saturday (12 – 7 pm)
The Hole. 312 Bowery. New York, NY 10012
article by: Oscar A. Laluyan