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Coco Papy
Brooklyn, NY
Neighborhood: Gowanus

ARTIST STATEMENT: I explore contradictions of femininity and cultural identity, while touching on ideas of the nightmare of femininity, the female grotesque and the plasticization and social distortion of images of women. I play with materials and a process that explore my complicated relationship towards this idea and of the actuality and the fantasy presented. On one hand, the way these images lead us to define what is a valued body- the tinier, thinner, lighter, whiter, blonder- female bodies that seem to disappear, as culturally gold. On the other hand, I am simultaneously thrilled by their good-looking appeal, shiny retouched quality, and the fantasy and possibility they want to present.

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June-26-2010 – July-16-2010


Curated by Trinidad Fombella

June 26th – July 19th, 2010
Opening Reception: Saturday June 26th from 5 to 7 pm

Esperanza Leon is delighted to present Lush, a group show curated by Trinidad Fombella. Lush is part of an initiative to exhibit art by some of the best young women artists working today. The opening reception is on Saturday June 26th, 2010 and an additional program “Artists on Artists” will be held on Saturday July 10th, both events are at Solar in East Hampton, from 5 to 7 pm .

Revolving around themes of abundance, beauty, seduction and identity, Lush welcomes the warmth of summer, its vibrant colors, the sweet fragrances of blooming flowers, and the lingering dreams of hot glowing nights. The exhibition features different media including photography, installation, painting, collage and sculpture, and includes works by Elia Alba, Sol Aramendi, Firelei Baez, Cecile Chong, Rhea O’Neill, Coco Papy, Lina Puerta, and Mary Valverde.

Elia Alba (b. New York 1962, lives and works in New York) creates hybrid models of women, in this particular series, covered in flower dresses, their bodies hidden by plants and trees, and some come alive in unexpected ways. Her work explores female identity, in particular the mysteries and inconsistencies of living in multi-racial cities today. Similar approach is that of Coco Papy ( b. Savannah, Georgia 1985, lives and works in Brooklyn). Grotesque seduction defines her mixed media collages of female bodies, created from fashionable images where glamour is filled with sparkle, flowers and feathers. These inbred characters reflect upon contradictions of femininity and cultural identity, related to the trends of plasticization and social distortion of women in the contemporary world. Resistant to these artificially created images, Sol Aramendi ( b. Argentina, lives and works in New York) presents the beauty found in the natural female body juxtaposed with enclosed lavish landscapes and thriving flowers.

Richness and abundance characterise Rhea O’Neill’s ( b. United Kingdom 1983, lives and works in London), heavily textured oil paintings, depicting fantasy landscapes in a variety of sweet pastel and vibrant colors. Cecile Chong (b. Ecuador, lives and works in New York) takes images from vintage children’s books and elsewhere to address the process of assimilation and the development of an individual identity through her encaustic-based works.

Juicy watercolours by Firelei Baez (b. Dominican Republic, lives and works in New York) burst with nature and luxuriant growths, introducing feminine shapes and mixing them with banana leaves and high heels creating succulent and sensual bodies. Lina Puerta (b. Colombia, lives and works in New York) also looks at the body: its cycles and fragility as well as its power, sensuality and sacredness. She blends botanical and anatomical forms bringing out the corporeal and emotional states of the body frequently hidden under cosmetics or clothing.

Mary Valverde’s (b. New York, lives and works in New York) installation brings to the gallery space organic but also very rational abstract compositions. Her wall drawing series is inspired in her investigations of numeric and geometric patterns found in nature, turning into elaborate but delicate living organisms.

The exhibition opening will be paired with sensuous cocktails mixed with St Germain, a fine artisanal liqueur made in France with handpicked elderflower blossoms.

Established in 2001 by Esperanza León, Solar specializes in representing the best artwork coming out of Latin America and from artists of Latin American background. Art is continually on exhibit in solo and group shows. Solar also collaborates with curators and other institutions and collectors to introduce little-known artists to a wider audience and participates regularly in international art fairs.

Trinidad Fombella, from El Museo del Barrio in New York, has recently curated, together with No Longer Empty, Weaving In & Out, an exhibition of contemporary international artists, currently on view at Tapestry, located at 245 East 124th St. until August 29th, 2010.

For further information: or 631.907.8422

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