GARDEN OF THE WOMANIMAL

From April 12 – June 8th, the Booklyn Art Gallery presents Caroline Paquita’s first solo-exhibition in New York entitled GARDEN OF THE WOMANIMAL, featuring an installation by Paquita, a succinct survey of thirteen years of drawings, paintings, prints, sculptures and zines, and an artist book published exclusively for this exhibition.

Paquita is an eclectic artist who has worked in printmaking, textile works, and video, to name a few. She is the founder and sole mastermind of PEGACORN PRESS, a small publishing operation she describes as  “feminist, queer, ‘total-art-freaker'” run using a Risograph Stencil Duplicator.  Paquita and her lone Risograph have produced an impressive amount of publications. You can get a glimpse of her recent work on her website. Her titles can be purchased at Desert Island and Blue Stockings in New York, or at Quimby’s in Chicago, as well as on Etsy and Store Envy. Paquita’s publications are also available through http://buy.booklyn.org/.

GARDEN OF THE WOMANIMAL immerses the viewer in the lively and chaotic environment of the cult of “womanimals,” which are essentially half women, half wild animals. These hybrid women are placed in playful, sexual and humorous scenarios and often carry symbolic meaning.

For instance, Paquita displays a print entitled Miami Water Spirit, featuring a woman with green reptilian-like skin, a conch shell in her hair and a snake wrapped around her neck. This piece seems to reference Mami Wata – a mermaid-like figure with a women’s nude body and the lower body of a fish or serpent. This water spirit deity occurs in many cultures and mythologies. In Norwegian folklore, these creatures are known as Nyx/Nixie: shapeshifting water spirits who appear in human form. The spiritual significance of Mami Wata is rooted in ancient traditions and mythology of coastal southeastern Nigerians. Mami Watas were believed to have posses dual natures of good and evil — as water allows for growth of food, trade and transportation, while also bringing floods to villages and fields, and a path for intruders.

At the same time, Paquita also creates humorous references to modern-day language in reference to women. One of Paquita’s prints feature two goat-women farming land with the tag-line “HO-ING AROUND,” which I felt to be a rather witty retort to the everyday casual sexism women experience on the street. While the work is certainly political, Paquita’s humor and playful style allows the work to be light, indulgent (and subversive) rather than didactic.

 

Images courtesy of Booklyn Art Gallery.

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Categories: Exhibitions


2 Responses to “GARDEN OF THE WOMANIMAL”

  1. Booklyn says:

    Thanks for the review!

    We wanted to include a few links in case you wanted to find out more about the exhibition GARDEN OF THE WOMANIMAL: http://www.booklyn.org
    Full album can be viewed on our Flickr page: https://www.flickr.com/photos/booklynartgallery
    Pegacorn Press publications are also available at: http://buy.booklyn.org

    Gallery hours 12 – 5pm Thursday – Tuesday, Booklyn is located at 37 Greenpoint Ave, 4FL, Brooklyn, NY.

    Join us 7 – 10pm on Saturday, June 7th for a closing party + zine release of new publications from Pegacorn Press.

  2. Page Turner says:

    Janette! Thank you! It reads really well. Thank you! Felice