Friday, October 19, 2007
Unknown Artist: Lydia Venieri
A few weeks ago I stopped by at the Stux Gallery in Chelsea. There I encountered the most remarkable digital photographic images.
The gallery flyer will tell you Lydia was born in Athens, Greece, studied in Paris, and so on. And she's participated in numerous shows in Europe.
And the gallery assessment of her work suggests surrealist roots but I see it differently. These digital photographs, IMO, at first glance lend themselves to a kitsch sweetness that projects from the pastiche effect of doll-collecting americana, Japanese anime stereotype eyes, and toy box magic.
Upon closer inspection, Venieri turns your initial kitsch impulse into a much more serious satori - so-to-speak. The subjects of Venieri's photos on silk, sugar-innocent dolls bear witness to events happening just over the viewer's shoulders of consciousness - war, hate, and violence.
The juxtaposition, the counterpoint is both startling, accusatory, and infectious. I must admit that I liked this work very much (one of only two or three artists who impressed me that morning) as a strong and bold set of work, beautifully executed and subliminally refined.
I offer my recommendation that, when in New York you visit the gallery and seek out her work. Until then click on the gallery link to see her profile on their website.