Polly Penrose “Self Obscured”

Benrubi Gallery

poster for Polly Penrose “Self Obscured”

This event has ended.

Since she first began taking pictures, Polly Penrose’s primary subject has always been herself – not as a fixed or individual identity, but one perpetually evolving and spontaneously reacting to the landscapes, interiors or objects around her.

At times, as in her series Pool Party or I Was Never Good at Yoga, her body is a depersonalized expression of female frustration, a self-ironizing weariness with the performative expectations of women. Yet her repurposing of the tools for these activities – from pool floats to yoga balls – to construct new composite sculptures with her limbs and torso as component parts turn these exercises into a form of empowerment; reframed and stripped of their functionality, the items come to exist solely in service of Polly’s artistic ends. As these mundane objects transcend their everyday purpose in her images, so too does her body transcend its status as both a sexual, living thing, yielding surreal configurations at once comic and beautiful.

She draws upon the same techniques to create Paperwork, fragmenting her body into dissociated parts that gracefully unite with paper shapes to create a kind of human origami, as impermanently beautiful as the Japanese art form. As both the photographer and the photographed, artist and muse, her method is constructed around a temporary confluence of organic and inorganic forms that can exist for mere seconds at a time, rendering each photograph a unique performance in itself.



from November 15, 2018 to January 05, 2019

Opening Reception on 2018-11-15 from 18:00 to 20:00


Polly Penrose

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