SILVERMAN AND MAJESTIC THEATRE CONDOMINIUM ASSOCIATION present
Anna Mogilevsky: Mirrors, Mirages, and Archetypes.
Opening Reception: Friday, March 6, 2015, 7–9 p.m.
The Majestic Theatre Condominiums
222 Montgomery Street
Jersey City, NJ 07302
Exhibition on view in the lobby from March 6, 2015, to June 30, 2015.
“I create allegories of the inner workings of the mind with archetypal narratives in which all of the roles and characters are played by my own reflections” – Anna Mogilevsky
SILVERMAN AND MAJESTIC THEATRE CONDOMINIUM ASSOCIATION present “Anna Mogilevsky: Mirrors, Mirages, and Archetypes,” curated by Brendan Carroll. This exhibition will include seven large-scale works on paper that the artist started in 2013. If there is one word to describe her sumptuously drawn works, it is enigmatic.
Working on paper with pencil, Mogilevsky has created interlacing self-portraits that are forged through a synthesis of personal contemplation and imagination. At first glance, the drawings appear to depict straightforward domestic interiors populated by young women. On repeated inspection, they reveal a peculiar, idiosyncratic world that is inhabited by one character—the artist herself—performing multiple roles: the glutton, the provocateur, and the double, to name a few.
In Point of View, we see five representations of Mogilevsky. Each Mogilevsky has her back turned to the viewer, as she stands, squats, and stumbles in a spare room with a large window. In Veiling and Unveiling, Mogilevsky appears three times, but facial recognition is obscured. A seated and standing Mogilevsky are presented in Allegory of Drawing, but both versions avoid eye contact with the viewer. In Searching for the Light, Mogilevsky stares into the mouth of her seated opposite. These drawings mimic traditional portraiture in name only: The scenes feel remote, not of this world, dreamlike. There is not a single work here that will not reward close looking for its virtuoso draftsmanship and cerebral acuity.
The artist’s approach to portraiture begins with an idea or image that comes through a moment of inspiration. This sudden realization can occur at any time: while she is listening to music, walking through a park, or watching a movie. Sometimes the image can be realized immediately. At other times, it can take several sketches. Mogilevsky’s sketch serves as roadmap for a photo shoot, in which the artist inhabits the characters she has envisaged in her mind’s eye. From these photographs, the artist composes a digital collage in Photoshop that serves as the foundation of her drawings. In addition to her computer-generated collages, she often relies on individual photographs to inform her pieces, but Mogilevsky’s getting into character cannot be overlooked. “I feel that my poses have to be as close to the original sketch as possible,” says the artist. “I have to act out these archetypes in order to mimic the emotional and psychological states of these characters.”
Most of the settings are based on the artist’s actual living spaces. However, she modifies the scenes to serve her ultimate vision. For example, she will remove or add furniture, as well as introduce specific props to achieve her mental picture. That said, Mogilvesky does not want the viewer to get caught up in the visual trappings. For her, the key element to understanding her work is the interaction between the figures. “I am trying to create a tension between a place that is familiar to us yet foreign at the same time,” notes the artist. “The self-portraits are a way for me to materialize these intangible and mysterious moments and make the emotional aspect of each archetypal portrait more felt.”
In a world where selfies have become everyday expressions, why is self-portraiture still relevant in the art world today? The answer is intention. The selfie, in most cases, is a record of what the picture taker is doing in a given moment. By stark contrast, an artist’s self-portrait is a deliberate meditation on the artist’s place in the world, the universe, art history, and time itself. In Mogilevsky’s case, self-portraiture raises more questions than provides concrete answers, and that’s part of its uncanny appeal. “Self-portraiture reveals something about artists and their understanding of the world, their thoughts and feeling about the particular subject, their psychology, etc.,” says Mogilevsky. Here, she walks a fine line between technical virtuosity and conceptualism, and part of the joy in looking at these works is seeing how she balances those competing ends.
The exhibition will be on view at Majestic Theatre Condominium Association through June 30, 2015. For further information, please visit us at SILVERMAN or call number (201) 435-8000.
“Anna Mogilevsky: Mirrors, Mirages, and Archetypes” is the twenty-fourth exhibition that Brendan Carroll will organize for SILVERMAN. For additional information on the artist, go here: annamogilevsky.com
Born in Russia, Anna Mogilevsky immigrated to the United States in 1993. She attended the Rhode Island School of Design and earned her MFA at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design. Her work explores the depth of human character using her archetypal selves through mediums including pencil, photography, and performance. Mogilevsky has lectured at RISD, Northeastern University, University of Massachusetts Lowell and Dartmouth, and Bridgewater State University. She is currently leading her own artist development program, which offers online and private instruction.
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