Attacking the Senses with Andréa Stanislav’s Seductively Shiny Collages
Andréa Stanislav’s in-your-face artworks are pure eye candy. They dazzle with an array of sparkling surfaces and multicolored rhinestones. Embedded within the works, however, is an acute examination of pop culture, forcing the viewer to confront a world in which endless streams of information have merged times and histories into a single, chaotic mess. In “Preternatural Shadow Shifter” at Ca’ d’Oro Gallery in New York, Stanislav presents a new group of collages as well as her signature sculptural works, allowing viewers a chance to immerse themselves in her disorientingly colorful world.
“Refractive Collages,” Stanislav’s new series of collages, combines found images with bits of silvery paper and vibrant, semitransparent geometric shapes. “I want to give the viewer almost too much to look at,” Stanislav has said, “and maybe create a sense of confusion, which is my experience with modern technology and being bombarded by too much information.”
Fittingly, each collage centers on an explosion of images, typically with female figures (including Courtney Love) surrounded by bits of visual ephemera: statues, flowers, dogs, an astronaut, etc. On the one hand, these collages seem to celebrate their female protagonists, who look like superheroines visiting from a distant future. Yet the silvery collages are bisected and fragmented by beams of pure light, lending a sense of fragility to the otherwise ecstatic work.
Rounding out the show are Stanislav’s sculptures, which substitute animals for the women of her collages. Each piece proposes an absurd narrative for a taxidermied creature. In many, the animals find themselves butting heads with the ghosts of minimalist sculptures: Tyco Magnetic Anomaly (TMab) Mirror (2012) depicts a goat cruelly split in half by a mirrored plinth, while Pink Cube (2014) imagines dove crashing into a Donald Judd–esque cube. And in the morbidly humorous Wild Horses (2012), two severed horse heads sit on a mirrored disc, bedazzled in silver rhinestones.
In their flirtation with the surreal, Stanislav’s artworks reflect a culture in which reality seems less real than the multitude of images bombarding us through an array of digital devices. Like a knife glinting in the light, Stanislav’s multisensorial work cuts through this information-obsessed existence.
“Andréa Stanislav: Preternatural Shadow Shifter” is on view at Galleria Ca’ d’Oro, New York, Apr. 28–May 28, 2016.