Gallery nine5 in nolita presents a second solo show, Play, for artist Jessica Lichtenstein which explores the relationship between materialism and sexuality through the recontextualization of popular Japanese erotic imagery. The super funky works will be on view through December 15th.
Fascinated by the mass‐production and fetishism of hyper‐sexualized Japanese figurines, Lichtenstein juxtaposes mass‐produced anime dolls and pornographic comic book characters in ironic situations. The artist challenges her audience to engage with and question the function of these images from a Western perspective; to weigh how much of the images’ sexuality is ascribed by the spectator.
Expanding on her last exhibition, Lichtenstein moves a step further to create imagined landscapes, and expands her media to include graphic design, 3D text sculptures, light boxes and fabric. The artist strives for the presentation of her work to echo her ideas – art should ultimately entertain. She reveals her playful nature with complex pieces that divulge their depth only with a closer look – a cherry tree image on a light box is actually a composite of X-rated sirens. In her pieces you can see both feminism and fetishism but ultimately Lichtenstein’s main concern is that the viewer enjoys the journey.
Citing her rigorous education in art history and classic literature as the most formative influences on her stylistic development, Lichtenstein also draws inspiration from New York’s pervasive art scene and her conception of the ‘amorphous and cross‐cultural’ nature of contemporary art. The artist’s work is already in some of the homes of the most important pop-art collectors, and held in private collections in Saudi Arabia, Jordan, New York, Palm Beach, Beverly Hills, Nice, London, Paris and Madrid. Most recently, Lichtenstein participated in and sold out her work at the SCOPE New York Art Show.
Leila Antakly is the founder and editor of Ninu Nina | November 18th 2011