Winter Palace

I am happy to share that three of my newest ceramic assemblages from an ongoing series titled A Queer Pentimento will be included in this group exhibition exploring the inherent dichotomies of ostentatious wealth and privilege in contrast with a searching critique of societal imbalance and deprivation.

These three sculptural assemblages employ altar and reliquary forms combining image and artifact. Often the faces are obfuscated, an erasure is a shorthand for the ways in which some voices are silenced; yet like a pentimento, an otherness emerges through layers. Some of us can’t help but reveal our nature. In my work this veil of abstraction and assemblage are visual strategies and metaphors for otherness.

I was inspired by the publication Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller, which led me to read the Iliad, and consider the intimate relationship between Patroclus and Achilles. The historical erasure of intimacy between them is an example of how history is written by those in power. In the LGBTQ community there are too few artists who survive to be elders. The real queer coming of age is recovering one’s histories; first as a viewer finding ourselves, then as a participant in the production of culture. We enfold queer traces into our creations, into our memories so we can pass them on. I made this bust of Patroclus sleeping, with a print on paper mounted to a sheet of tin draped over the face. It is an allusion to the grieving of Achilles over his dead lover.

Opening reception February 9 , 6-8 pm
On view through March 5th, 2023

Artists Equity Gallery
245 Broome Street
New York, NY 10002

Press Release

Winter Palace references the St. Petersburg palace that served as the official residence of the Russian Emperor from 1732 to 1917. Built by Peter I of Russia upon his return from an extensive diplomatic tour of Western Europe (and keen to promote western conceits) the palace was conceived as a modern town residence incorporated into the fabric of St. Petersburg—his new metropolis rising from the dark wetlands bordering the Baltic.

St. Petersburg soon rivaled even the most splendid cities being erected by powerful European sovereigns—its canals recalling Venice, its grand palaces outshining Versailles.  Yet against this backdrop of magnificence and extravagance, of sophistication and manners, was the grim reality of life in Russia and its oppressive culture of servitude still mired in Medieval feudalism. As the Winter Palace grew in richness and splendor, so did Russian serfdom.

One may certainly argue that our own polarized time of ostentatious display against a backdrop of deprivation rivals the dichotomies that convulsed 19th Century St. Petersburg.  Yet, Russia looms large in our nation’s postwar consciousness as the “other”, ironically perceived as an ideological disruptor and existential threat to the purity of the American Dream.  On the other hand, Russia’s cathected image as the ruthless while opulent enemy now seems to be fully embraced by its current leadership. Our Exhibition “Winter Palace” seeks to explore these themes and profundities with works by a group of 15 artists.  Taken together, their exhibited works will explore the inherent dichotomies of unbridled wealth and privilege as expressed through object acquisition and ostentatious display against an enlightened and searching critique of societal imbalance.

Participating Artists

  • Jamie Adams
  • Sunny Chapmann
  • Gigi Chen
  • Anna Cone
  • Pablo Garcia
  • Amani Heywood
  • Howard Kalish
  • Julian Kalwinowski
  • Ariel Kleinberg
  • Margaret Krug
  • Frista LaBella
  • Adrian Milton
  • Shiri Mordechay
  • Sean O’Connor
  • Matt Nolen
  • Andrew Cornell Robinson
  • Carri Skoczek
  • Manju Shandler

Curator Michael Gormley

Artists Equity Gallery
245 Broome Street
New York, NY 10002

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