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Shoshana Wayne Gallery
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Gil Yefman at Shoshana Wayne Gallery


At Shoshana Wayne Gallery in mid-city, Gil Yefman’s bright fiber works are an explosion of color in the gallery, particularly the large knitted work Tumtum, an assemblage of knitted orifices and reproductive organs that swirl together, hanging from the ceiling in a massive orb. Yet, under Yefman’s playful style, covert meaning often points to complex cultural or historical themes. Tumtum, for instance, is a Hebrew word used in Biblical times to refer to a person with ambiguous genitalia—although in modern day, the word is often deployed to mean stupid. This slippage of language points to deeply-seated prejudices around non-binary individuals. Elsewhere, Yefman takes on the subject of the holocaust, making several works about victims including the felted work, Subtraction, a grouping of felted tattoos referencing those of Holocaust victims based on imagery gathered by a Buchenwald doctor via grotesque means. The playful tattoos—which range in subject matter from endearing to nautical to playfully sexual—again belie the grim undertones of their historical significance.

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Gil Yefman, IT AIN’T NECESSARILY SOFT, Shoshana Wayne. Image courtesy of Shoshana Wayne Gallery.