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Karen Mainenti
New York, NY
Neighborhood: Gowanus



ARTIST STATEMENT: Everyone knows what toilet paper is, but how many have examined the delicate and beautiful pattern that is printed on it? Moreover, is there something that this pattern is revealing about the society we live in? Are there things in front of us that we scarcely notice and yet are essential to the way we think and feel? My work is a frequent reengagement of such ubiquitous or overlooked materials—toilet paper, vintage toys, makeup—as well as appropriated text and images from advertising and media. I look to reframe these messages, often with humor, to show the absurdity, artifice and unnatural expectations that society has come to accept as ordinary. Definitions of femininity and gender are, of course, in constant flux, and never more so than they are today. My drawings, collages, paintings, tracings and transfers are an essential and urgent exploration of the volatile nature of sexuality. These are not abstract concepts but rather lived ones: the middle-class daughter of grade school teachers, my childhood was limited by received roles, and many of my own dreams went unrealized. Through transforming these materials, I am able to rewrite some of the past—and present—and demystify those nostalgic and unconscious tropes we have about society and femininity.
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ARTIST RESUME:


SOLO EXHIBITIONS

2014
The ABCs of Plastic Surgery, Chashama 266 Gallery, New York, NY

GROUP EXHIBITIONS

2015
-You've Got Mail! Summer Exhibition, Ground Floor Gallery, Brooklyn, NY
-Brooklyn Art Space Summer Member Salon, Trestle Gallery, Brooklyn, NY
-ArtWorks: A Benefit for Arts Gowanus, Site:Brooklyn Gallery, Brooklyn, NY
-Wide Open 6, Brooklyn Waterfront Artists Coalition (BWAC), Brooklyn, NY (Juried by Rojeko Hockley, Assistant Curator of Contemporary Art, Brooklyn Museum of Art, Brooklyn, NY)
-Recycle, Brooklyn Waterfront Artists Coalition (BWAC), Brooklyn, NY (Juried by Elissa Goldstone, Director of Exhibitions, Socrates Sculpture Park, Long Island City, NY)
-Brooklyn Art Space Winter Member Salon, Trestle Gallery, Brooklyn, NY

2014
-DUMBO Underfoot, Dumbo Arts Festival 2014, Brooklyn, NY
-Color, Brooklyn Waterfront Artists Coalition (BWAC), Curator Lauren Hinkson, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, Brooklyn, NY
-Wish You Were Here 13, A.I.R. Gallery, Brooklyn, NY
-Generations IX: The Red/Pink Show, A.I.R. Gallery, Brooklyn, NY

2013
-The Exquisite Uterus Project (Power, Politics, and Performance: Gender, Art & Resistance), Steinhilber Gallery, UW-Oshkosh, WI
-Wish You Were Here 12, A.I.R. Gallery, New York, NY

2012
-Affordable Art Store Featured Artist, Recession Art, New York, NY
-Wish You Were Here 11, A.I.R. Gallery, Brooklyn, NY
-It’s A Small, Small World, Family Business, New York, NY

2007
-Wish You Were Here 6, A.I.R. Gallery, New York, NY

2006
-Wish You Were Here 5, A.I.R. Gallery, New York, NY
-Generations 05, A.I.R. Gallery, New York, NY
-Racing Pages: Altered Books Portfolio, National Museum of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender History, New York, NY

AWARDS

2015
Certificate of Recognition, Recycle, Brooklyn Waterfront Artists Coalition (BWAC), Brooklyn, NY (Juried by Elissa Goldstone, Director of Exhibitions, Socrates Sculpture Park, Long Island City, NY)

LECTURES

2013
Visiting Artist. Tulsa Girls Arts School, Tulsa, OK

RESIDENCIES

2013
School of Visual Arts, New York, NY, Summer Residency Program, Painting & Mixed Media

EDUCATION

1996
BA Fine Arts (Magna Cum Laude), Fairfield University, Fairfield, CT
 








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