GREY MATTER presents recent sculptural works by Rose Nestler and Corey Escoto: Nestler’s reinterpretative series of sewn power suits and Escoto’s politically minded resin tissue-box covers. Rooted in disguise with the purpose of revealing the truth — a power held within vulnerability — their works occupy the “grey” area that connects FACT and FICTION.

The “power suit” refers to the style of business suits typically worn by women in the 1980’s: wide-shouldered, angularly cut, rigid garments that reinvented the female form in business culture.  These suits provided women’s bodies a masculine shield and a facade of dominance at a time that wasn’t welcoming to women working in the corporate sector.  It was their armor.  By interpreting these iconic items of clothing into soft sculptures and wall hangings, Nestler reinstates feminine power. Often constructed with hands sewn into the garment, these suits offer a comically menacing potential to “grab back.”

The Kleenex box — an instantly recognizable commercial product both tenderly evocative and simultaneously pathetic — used to be deemed unsuitable for home display.  Before these boxes were factory printed with graphic patterns, one might dress them up in a tissue box cover to make them less conspicuous.  Escoto’s sculptures take the box covers’ function of disguise as their central purpose, but diverge from their innocuous predecessors in forms that blur design and sculpture.  With politically directed texts such as “THIS PAIN DOES NOT SEEM TO GO AWAY,” and “THE NEW NORMAL,” the tissue box cover is no longer a passive object of domestic camouflage, but an active teller of truth — however painful that truth may be. 

Curated by Valery Jung Estabrook for SPRING/BREAK Art Show 2019

Grey Matter at SPRING/BREAK Art Show 2019
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