Saturday, April 2, 2011

Lea Zoltowski NCECA @ Collective

Lea Zoltowski's work is about revelation. In her artist's statement, she says she wants to reveal and critique a wide range of social power structures and ultimately empower the viewer at several levels.
In part, this process takes place by inclusion, immersion and/or communion.

The forms are biomorphic, clearly derived from plants or animals, and brimming with vitality, conveying the idea of radiance and growth. In this one, the viewer is transformed into participant via a unique interaction with the work.

This is a detail from near the base of the above work. Those arrowhead-like forms sticking out of the sculpture are tongues. Yes, tongues cast in chocolate. The participant leans in and bites the tongue (gently) off it's supporting structure. It's excellent chocolate, and in it, in fortune-cookie fashion, is either an empowering phrase, or something telling you you've won a work of Lea's.
There is a feeling of intimacy in all this that is decidely unusual.

This piece, bursting with life with its fern-like tops, also engages the gallery-goer directly. Look at the bottom, and you can see little wishbones ringing the sculpture. You make a wish, and break one of the wishbones(!). Lea is involving the normally passive viewer, and in innovative and intimate ways. And the works are also contemplative, visually.  On the floor of the gallery there are mounds of little stingray forms, and you are encouraged to step/stomp on them. Stepping on stingrays. These works are therapeutic and healing in a way few others are.

In the back room at Collective, is an installation of Narwhals. The rare and endangered whales with the horns. The room is awash with them, hanging, on the walls, and in the middle , a two-horned narwhal skull sculpture.

Here is the two-horned narwhal skull sculpture surrounded by NCECAns.

A rare, unusual, innovative -- and extraordinarily feel good -- show. It can be seen at Collective, 601 Central Ave St. Petersburg. See more of Lea's work here: [Link]

--- Luis

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