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Sessa Englund at Hunter Shaw Fine Art
May 16, 2021 - July 4, 2021
At Hunter Shaw Fine Art in mid-city, Sessa Englund has set up a kind of hollowed out interior space. Bare wooden shelving (which the artist calls “skeletons”) anchor the gallery while filigreed sheets of amber-hued latex splay across the structures. One drapes from a hanger like freshly made pasta hung up to dry.
Englund’s skin-like proximities are made more fleshy via the addition of carefully applied bodily adornments like stick-and-poke tattoos and piercings. Glass “hearts” are embedded into a series of shelf sculptures using edible marzipan to fuse them into place—a material that surely will degrade over time. Elsewhere, enlarged ball-bearing piercings act as ad-hoc hooks from which oversized charm necklaces drape down to the floor.
The artist’s penchant for ‘90s ephemera subtly infuses this moody exhibition—hearts, butterflies, and Troll Dolls are added onto Englund’s personified structures like patron saints or good luck charms, further eliciting the passage of time. As a whole, Englund’s delicate structures and adorned, flaking skins are a ghostly musing on the ephemerality of the human form.
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Photo: Sessa Englund, “Fool’s Errand” (installation view). Image courtesy of the artist and Hunter Shaw Fine Art. Photo: Ruben Diaz.