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September 9-12, 2021   Javits Center

Marnie Weber

Log Lady & Dirty Bunny and Pig Host sculpture

2009
Presented by Simon Lee Gallery
Location: Champagne Lounge
Pier 94
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Curator's Statement

Marnie Weber has explored the realms of the grotesque, carnivalesque, and absurd in narrative sculptural tableau, paintings, collage, and performance since the 1990s. Creating fantastical landscapes, her work references mythological traditions while simultaneously taking up topical themes such as gender, family dynamics, and access to power, through such archetypes as the witch, the clown, and various animals. Weber describes all her characters as “alter egos,” and Log Lady & Dirt Bunny and Pig Host Sculpture (both from 2009) feature animal-human hybrids that probe the darker sides of human behavior.

About the Artist

Shifting between media, Marnie Weber’s multifaceted, interconnected practice encompasses performance, film, video, sculpture, collage, music and costume. Blending the carnivalesque, the bacchanalian, the mystical and the absurd, Weber creates uncanny worlds that exist in a realm between fantasy and reality, and invite viewers to an exploration of the subconscious. In her work, one finds hybrid creatures, sometimes realised in two dimensions, and others incorporating mannequins disguised in ornate costumes and masks. These function as contemporary grotesques in the spirit of Hieronymus Bosch, and place emphasis on unnatural bodies and surreal worlds. The darkness of Weber’s vision can be seen to lie in the precarious relationship between the parable, quasi-Wizard of Oz aesthetic and the overtly adult subject matter: sex, drugs and death.

Since the 1990s, several pictorial tropes have recurred with frequency in Weber’s works, most notably: the mythological anthropomorphising of animals and the relationship between animals and humans; appropriation and the re-contextualisation of images, which place women in positions of power and primacy; and the importance of the backdrop or milieu as a site of transformation and magic. Exploring the loss of innocence, the community of living things, spiritualism and the subconscious, Weber’s folkloric works present psychologically-charged, neo-gothic fairytales. Disorienting and mysterious, they elicit responses from viewers, which fluctuate between melancholy and delight, attraction and repulsion, humour and tragedy.