Olek, Swoon, Handiedan, Rashelle Stetman & Fafi
July 14th – August 4th 2018
Saturday, July 14th 2018
Free & Open to the public
This July we bring you “Rare Cats” a group exhibit featuring Swoon, Olek, Rashelle Stetman, Handiedan & Fafi. Our goal in this exhibit is to bring together five artists working in very different mediums but with a shared voice of empowerment, introspection, strength and beauty.
Swoon lives and works in Brooklyn, New York but there is no doubt she is a citizen of the world through her humanitarian and philanthropic efforts. Her artwork reflects personal experiences, interactions and relationships from a lifetime of self discovery and charitable efforts. For example, in 2010 Swoon and a group of creative collaborators formed a project known as Konbit Shelter to aid victims of the devastating Earthquake that struck Haiti. In the years that have followed the group has built a series of homes, a community center, an after school program and other small community strengthening initiatives in the small village of Comiers. In this exhibit we have a painting of “Edline” a young woman from the after school program, she is holding a shadow puppet that was used during a play put on for family and friends in the village. This is just one small example of the experiences and interactions Swoon translates so well into her art, we highly suggest you watch this documentary which goes further into her amazing adventures and creative process.
Handiedan is a multifaceted artist from Holland with a unrivaled penchant for intricacy and minutia. Her work is a combination of classic pinup imagery infused with cultural, historical, personal and digital artifacts. Layers upon layers of hand cut items like stamps, playing cards, sheet music, currency and drawings form into a beautifully cohesive and ornate painting. In general art terms it would be considered “collage” but her attention to detail creates such a unified result it’s impossible to separate individual elements.
Olek is a Polish-American artist living in New York City, she works with a wide range of techniques and materials but she is notorious for wrapping anything in crochet. Upon moving to the U.S. in 2003 she started working heavily with crochet resulting in amazing projects enveloping everyday objects, humans, vehicles, statues, multistory buildings and her entire studio apartment for an exhibit at the Smithsonian. Interlocking with the beauty and scale are strong messages of sexual equality, freedom of expression, subversion and women’s rights.
A recently completed mural project in Philly brought a group of local crocheters together to help create a massive piece featuring Marian Anderson and the quote “You Lose A Lot Of Time, Hating People”
“We have to learn how to forgive in order to move forward. If you want to change the world, start by cleaning your house– not only the space itself but the messes in your relationships. Reach out to a friend you haven’t spoken to for years; to relatives you had a quarrel with; to nemeses. This starts the process of uniting family, community, country and the world. And I started making these calls..” – Olek
Fafi hails from France where she began leaving her mark in the streets nearly 25 years ago as a young rebel fresh out of private school. Much about her is a mystery, she lets her work do the talking by exploring femininity through stereotypes and using it to her advantage. The “Fafinettes” are sassy, funny, devious and larger than life characters that reflect Fafi’s spirit at any given moment. Being colorful and cute they lull you in visually while simultaneously challenging you to consider their underlying message. For example, she recently completed a massive mural in Long Beach, California featuring two Fafinettes sprinting while looking back, when asked what they are running from she replied “Men”.
Rashelle Stetman is a young artist with crazy talent and an astounding work ethic. She loves to draw and is constantly pushing her artistry and related business efforts to the next level. Her paintings for this exhibit feature portraits of close friends drawn with graphite on large wood panels. Each subject is enmeshed in floral bursts flowing on and breaking from their bodies emanating a sense of beauty, growth and positive energy.
“This body of work reflects transition; the idea that we start in one place and end up in another. Some say the transitions we live through are the most troublesome parts life, some would argue just the opposite. But what I’ve found is nothing feels more powerful and terrifying at the same time. Those in between moments make us feel alive.
Parts of us are strong and we like those parts because it has served us well. Other parts we fear. We hide them away like the ugly sweater in the closet you can’t seem to get rid of. Experiences alter us and force us to grow. Sometimes good, sometimes not so good. But all the more complicated and layered we become.”