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Kim Dacres at Gavlak


At Gavlak downtown, 11 busts sit proudly on white plinths. Made out of found tires (bikes, cars, motorcycles), each of Kim Dacres’ figures in her exhibition “Wisdom Embedded in the Treads” is textural and layered. Rubber bike tubes are manipulated to become delicate, sweeping rows of braided hair. Bike chains stand in for body piercings. Flat strips of tires are screwed in place to become contorted facial features. In “Whitney,” a single bike seat stands in for the pop singer’s nose. Through the specificity of each figure, Dacres hopes to convey the multiplicity of her community. “Skin color and hairstyles alone do not singularly tell the story of an individual,” Dacres explains in the press release. The work is a celebration of her community. People should be honored “for their everyday experience and roles in society,” she tells me.

Sourced from tire shops around New York, Dacres is deeply interested in the past lives of the tire material. Throughout their lives, tires become worn and the tread wears down, but each becomes a unique representation of the places and experiences they’ve encountered. “The material reminds me to think of people with full and whole experiences that are similar to mine and also different in ways I can learn from. …In the making process, I’m transforming pain, journey, and experience into a figure [that is] easier to identify with. I don’t think any other material has the same draw for me,” Dacres says.