I am please to announce I am currently participating in three exhibitions. Below are some images from each show.
White cotton paper, treated photos from my Viennese family’s photo album from the beginning of the 20th century printed pigment on archive paper, acrylic, pencil, Japanese brushes, Porcelain tea set from the Austrian family, table
The Salon at Agripas Street,
curated by Rina Peled and Max Epstein,
Echoes of Vienna
Just reading or listening to the word “Vienna” and a sweetness shines inside my body. It swirls with music of a waltz, with the smell of goulash, an apple strudel, sweet apricot dumplings and the truest raspberry juice. Coffee with rum and whipped cream and the German language that lulls me once more. Vienna is my past, a city that is a prefix for me. Vienna, Wien the city of my grandparents Opi Freddy, Omi Trude, my aunt Lucy, and my papa Heinz, Heinzi who became Enrique. The city is like of Land of Oz. An enchanted place, far, far away in a cultural Europe.
I come from the South; South America, Uruguay, a Guarani name for a country meaning “the river of painted birds”. A country without ancient forests with wild berries growing, strawberries, cherries, blueberries, raspberries, mulberries, blackberries. Neither royal palaces, nor princesses, nor princes… without great important museums or famous cultural geniuses that eventually changed the world. A humble, sunny, safe, human dimensions Montevideo…Ah! but part of my roots shoot far, to the other side of the Atlantic, to the country of Sissi, of the magical photo family albums, of stories, memories and of the fluffy warm feather duvets. I grew up in a cloud of German, a language I have never learned, but it was part of my childhood soundtrack, a surrounding murmur, a background music while in my head I was in my own world, daydreaming. I was always present in two worlds, the material and the one of my imagination. A perfect training ground for an artist, while stirring the teaspoon in my glass of tea with its silver holder, eating a Austrian pastry, or sourdough bread.
Vienna, a city of my ancestors, a land of movies, literature, art, theatre, music, and operettas. With a before, and then an after. Because in Vienna everything was lost, the Nazis came, they destroyed ... they murdered ... but my family escaped… in time ... they escaped arriving in Uruguay …they did not forget Vienna. The Vienna that was carried in their hearts, that of laughter and family. That of a cultured Jewish presence. The one of the Prater, of the bandstand concerts in the parks! The one of the theaters, the cafes, the wine gardens, the avenues, the universities, the elegance, the magazines, the books, the clip clop of horses and of children playing in the snow ... love stories, merriment, the sound of shuffling cards, and everything in a cadence of Viennese German which they say is sweeter and more cheerful than others ...
The world stopped in Vienna…continued in Montevideo, loaded with Austrian memories. Sad for a Paradise lost … a relief for being alive.
Alejandra Okret, 2020
The Pink Line
Verisimilitude, curated by Audrey Sklar Levy,
The Pink Line - Artist Wall at “Verisimilitude “curated by Audrey Sklar Levy at Sklar Levy Gallery, 2020-21
A political line, a philosophical line, a communications line, an underground line albeit also a timeline, a geographical line that divides our planet in latitude and longitude, Rambam’s middle line because pink is a kind of grey, a Zen grey…in between the fury and passion of red and the peace and enlightenment of white. The Pink as feminism, vulnerability, softness …or simply a life line
The Pink Line - Artist Wall at Verisimilitude curated by Audrey Sklar Levy at Sklar Levy Gallery, 2020-21
Alejandra Okret tackles landscape significantly differently; her wall is a landscape of life, and life as an artist. The first work, Bereshit, was finished many years ago; it is quite possibly the womb which carries the budding artist. As we travel along the wall we move through her biography: the “inner child” so to speak, escaping persecution. This is an indelible part of the artist’s roots, and in that way, her own timeline. Later we see other, personal, works – all shades of pink. As a child of artistic intellectuals, pink was shunned, pink was kitsch. Okret’s rebellious nature escorts her throughout her artistic timeline in purposeful use of this eschewed color. The artist calls this installation “The Pink Line”. The line reverts us back not just to a timeline but to the line of the horizon, the line of landscape and ironically, the international date line which was once proposed to run through Paris and, indeed, was referred to as the Pink Line. Says Okret, “Like walking a tight rope, (the pink line is) a life-line, juggling thoughts, understanding that life is complicated but there is harmony if we keep faithful to our own line of philosophy.” We have an artist coming to grips with reality and the universal perception of birth, of biography, of creation, of time, of understanding a “verisimilitude” of reality.
Audrey Sklar Levy
(from the curator's text of the exhibition)
We are walking away from who we are,
while we are moving towards who we know we are
We are finding no space to breathe in the chaos,
while we are holding chaos lovingly with our breath
We are not knowing where we are going,
while we are trusting a place known to us
We are lost in finding what art is,
while we are found in ourselves being lost
The pink line, a political line, a philosophical line, a communications line, an underground line albeit also a timeline, a geographical line that divides our planet in latitude and longitude, Rambam’s middle line because pink is a kind of grey, a Zen grey…in between the fury and passion of red and the peace and enlightenment of white. The Pink as feminism, vulnerability, softness …or simply a life line
(Isolation in Pandemic Lockdown)
virtual group exhibition
curated by Nitza Pery
A white ink drawing on tracing paper, a white image of a girl, her hair blown by the wind. The girl seems vulnerable and fragile, afraid of the unknown, afraid of loneliness. My own reflection on the glass brings another character to the scene. The spotlight becomes a window of hope within the isolation of these Pandemic times. For the artist, the studio is a haven… a retreat.
A white ink drawing on tracing paper, a family taking their new/old VW beetle car for the first ride. Happiness might be those small simple moment where the family with creativity creates. Families have never spent so much time together.
A white ink drawing on tracing paper, a birthday party without guests. Still a heart shaped cake holds all her hopes together.
A white ink drawing on tracing paper, a birthday party without guests. Turning five, after spending months dreaming of the celebration, costumes, games, crowns…at the end only a tiny affair without friends, without witnesses…
A white ink drawing on tracing paper, a little girl hiding in between the sofa cushions. Playing, feeling safe, feeling cozy. Is this our sense of home during the Pandemic?