If you are heading down to Miami for the upcoming Art Basel Miami Beach, or even just to escape the winter, be sure to head to Wynwood’s Valli Art Gallery to immerse yourself in the new exhibition from internationally regarded Italian multi-media artist, Chiara Dynys. Curated by famed Italian art critic Giorgio Verzotti, the show, titled ‘Insidious Beauty’ will be the artist’s first solo show in America and showcases work from the early nineties through to today. Dynys is best known for disorienting experiential pieces derived from personal experience and natural phenomena.
We caught up with Dynys to discuss the ideas behind her work, the variety of materials used and what to expect when you visit the gallery.
QL: Your show at Valli Art Gallery is titled ‘Insidious Beauty’. Can you tell us a little about the meaning behind the title?
CD: Insidious beauty is the concept of beauty with a double face. One is attractive and pleasant and the other is a hidden beauty, caged behind ones eyes, a little nightmare in the soul. The title was chosen by the curator of the show Giorgio Verzotti, describing my work as trap-like for the senses, a snare or a mirage in which each element, even if formally beautiful, is never what it looks like.
QL: Each of the sculptural pieces aims to ask fundamental questions exploring reality, physical versus metaphysical, humanity and the variables of perception. You use a range of materials, could you explain a few of the key works in the show, the materials used and the inspiration behind them.
CD: In every piece in the exhibition, the materials used function as the crux of the meaning, however, each is also up to the interpretation of the viewer and thus will have many meanings depending on the individual. I use a range of materials including glass, resin, wax, marble, mirror, ceramics, metal castings, crystal, fabrics, video and photography, with the aim to explore the liminal and metaphysical dimensions of reality.
In So Near So Far, Golden Cage and Look Afar, reflective steel and bronze behind gold leaf bars obstruct the viewer’s perspective and visibility, altering and refracting one’s body and the movement around the room, creating a disorienting and unrecognizable reflection. I often use the word passage to talk about my work. In fact, what is common to all my work is the sense of the crossing, and this is perfectly expressed in this work.
Platonic Solids explores mysterious regularity and beauty. From precise mathematical disciplines developed by Greek philosopher Plato, I want to point to links with the elements from earth, air to water. I am fascinated by the concept of the perceived perfection of the world and how our built, imperfect, concrete and tangible existence could coexist with the perfect objects within mathematics.
QL: Your practice is very much based in material, and how the viewer interacts with the material, in many cases light and reflection, how do you want or expect gallery visitors to react to the pieces?
CD: I want to encourage the viewer to rediscover their own physicality and mortality, and be altered. I have a particular focus on light and its relationship to vision and space, I like to consider the body and its reaction to its immediate environment, constant change whether minor or unrecognizable.
I hope that the reaction of the visitors could be the desire to enter each work and to participate to the inversion of the reality and perception. My work mirrors reality, which is infinitely doubled by reproduction in the media, quite entirely constructed to feel alienation from that which is authentic.
QL: You will also be presenting a video time-lapse developed from a recent trip to see the Northern Lights, can you tell us a bit about that project?
CD: This projected video entitled “Look Afar” is a work from a series of individual frames that I shot in a very extreme condition in Lapponia. In a place named Abisko. During that time, which was perfect for experiencing the Northern Lights the temperature was lower than 40 degrees below 0. I felt myself in a cosmic state, really attempting to look afar in terms of self discovery. At the same time, I felt myself in a feeling of “timelessness” and at an historical point of my life. Such a different point of view, this experience made me think that in that moment you are and you feel the global and unanimous answer to your “being in the world, in the reality” .
Chiara Dynys, Insidious Beauty is on view at Valli Art Gallery, 1924 North Miami Avenue, Miami, Florida, 33136 through December 31, 2017
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