“I Am Come Unto You In Mine Own Person” Exhibition


poster for “I Am Come Unto You In Mine Own Person” Exhibition
[Image: Witt Fetter "Diana" (2022) Oil On Canvas / 72 x 48 in.]

This event has ended.

“I am come unto you in mine own person,” English queen Mary Tudor announces upon entering a guild hall in 1554. She makes herself seen. She is presenting her own body, no doubt adorned to the hilt, to garner support to quell a rebellion. Her own person is a contested symbol of political power, ownership status unknown. In 2022 actress Romola Garai embodies this queen for a television show, another in an endless line of historical impersonations. She excels in the role. The first season ends on the eve of the queen’s ascent to power. The show is canceled after one season. Her impersonation finished, she reinhabits her own body, perhaps diminished and with potential earnings lost. Does the ghost of the long dead queen linger around the actress’s body; does the ghost taunt the living woman for not being allowed to finish the historical narrative, one that might have garnered her own body acclaim ? The five artists in the exhibition I AM COME UNTO YOU IN MINE OWN PERSON, Witt Fetter, Nyla Paula Isaac, Paul Kopkau, David Mramor, and John Sandroni, depict materially the human body, their own and those of others, in reiterative and complicated ways.

Witt Fetter’s monumental self-portrait Diana depicts the artist sitting on the end of a diving board in the open sea wearing only a bikini bottom and pensive expression, self-consciously echoing an iconic paparazzi photograph of another embattled English would-be queen. Questions of self-exposure and masking swirl around the figure. Whose own person is this exactly ? Fetter’s slippery superimposition reveals her body, in this case a young, transgender woman’s body, as a site of contested ownership.

Nyla Paula Isaac creates portraits depicting herself, her identical twin, political and cultural figures, and people both real and imagined in the service of communicating her complicated inner world. Isaac is a self-taught artist whose intuitive approach to figuration reflects a restless mind seeking material form.

Paul Kopkau, the only sculptor in the group, presents the body abstracted from corporal form. ​​The sculptures on view are titled Proxy as they can be seen as having a metaphorical relationship to a contemporary body. The series began with thoughts of post-labor society as a way to deal with growing up next to shuttered car factories and other industrial facilities in Ohio and Michigan.

David Mramor works with deconstructing images, simplifying surfaces into colour and form. He works with basic ideas, photographs or memories such as flowers from his mother’s garden or retro American pop stars. These images are digitally manipulated and become the surfaces for his paintings. The only evidence of the original image is in the title of the works. He places gestures, collages materials, draws and tapes on top of the photographic images; the original images thus become open to interpretation, non-objectivity and abstraction.

John Sandroni works primarily as a painter employing expressionistic, formal, and illustrative techniques to construct images that encompass a wide range, but are often autobiographical. Sandroni’s work has surrealistic tendencies, humorous undertones, and practical applications much like the city he uses as inspiration. The broad combination allows his work to be taken in differently upon each viewing.

The exhibition was organized by FIERMAN gallery director Tony Jackson.

Quote from Carolly Erickson’s Bloody Mary (New York: Doubleday, 1978) / ‘Becoming Elizabeth’ Canceled at Starz after one Season’

WITT FETTER (b. 1994 in Los Angeles, CA) lives and works in New York City. Selected exhibitions include: Devotion of Ecstasy, Estrella Gallery, New York, NY (2022); and Surrender Dorothy, Pop Gun Art, New York, NY (2021). Fetter has been awarded the Palanca Fantasy Award, Tom of Finland Foundation (2020); and the Raina Giese Award in Painting, Stanford University (2017). Fetter studied at Stanford University in Stanford, CA and received a B.A. in 2017 and a M.A. in 2018.

NYLA PAULA ISAAC (b. 1960, Trinidad, lives and works in Queens, NY) is a self-taught artist working primarily in portraiture. Encouraged to paint by artist colleague Uman, Isaac views her painting as a coping strategy for her mental illness. Her work has been exhibited in show organized by 137AC, A New York City Art Studio Established by Annatina Miescher a Swiss-born, New York based practicing psychiatrist. She keeps her studio at the Living Museum at Creedmoor Psychiatric Center. Isaac will have a solo show at Gallery.Albany in February 2023 curated by Brittany King.

PAUL KOPKAU (b. 1982, Monroe, MI, lives and works in NY) graduated from the M.F.A. program at Rutgers University in 2014. He is one of the founding members of Yemenwed, a New York-based collective established in 2006 known for employing the vocabulary and the conventions of pop culture to portray marginal groups and different notion of beauty.

DAVID MRAMOR (b. 1984, Cleveland, OH, lives and works in NY, NY) received his BFA from Ohio University, and his MFA from the School of Visual Arts, New York. He has exhibited throughout the United States, including at Maurizio Cattelan’s New York Gallery, Family Business. He is also a practicing musician, releasing albums under the name Enid Ellen.

JOHN SANDRONI (b. 1994, Long Island, NY, lives and works in Brooklyn, NY) obtained a BFA from the School of Visual Arts in 2017. He has been included in exhibitions in New York, Dallas, and Cologne, Germany.



from January 13, 2023 to February 19, 2023

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