The Department of Visual Art + Design is currently hosting a summer exhibit by four artists – Orly Anan, Basqo Bim, Phlegm, and Ryn Wilson – titled Disguises at the University’s Contemporary Art Gallery, located at 100 East Strawberry Stadium.
The exhibition is free and open to the public until Aug. 25. Contemporary Art Gallery hours are Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. with extended hours until 8 p.m. on Wednesdays, and Friday 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. A closing reception with some of the artists is scheduled Aug. 25., at 5 p.m., in the gallery.
Works in the exhibition feature contemporary artists working with garment design, masking, and make-up as a form of world-building and story-telling, said Gallery Director Cristina Molina.
“From Colombia, Israel, and New Orleans, the exhibiting artists share a commitment to creating characters that transcend the mundane and propose alternate realities,” Molina explained. “Orly Anan and Ryn Wilson create elaborate scenes to implicate how mysticism might trickle from the unconscious and become folded into everyday life. Basqo Bim and Phlegm engage in ritual acts of mask-making that reshape ancestral and mythical narratives. Set within miles of Louisiana Carnival capitals, these artists offer us a glimpse into the transformative possibilities of costuming.”
Anan is a Colombian/Israeli visual artist and art director interested in the mysticism implicated in everyday life, Molina said. She is currently experimenting with the intersection of ritual and popular culture, as well as Anthropocosmic Surrealism. Anan’s client list includes Nike, VH1, Spotify, and Netflix, to name a few, and her artwork has been exhibited in museums and galleries across the world, including Miami, London, Mexico City and Toronto. Her immersive installation “Salon Delicatessen” is currently on view at the Museum of Museums in Seattle. Currently a resident of Mexico City, Anan’s artistic research has led her to explore the traditions of various countries, from Asia to Latin America, and these cultures are her main inspiration.
Originally from a rural town in South Carolina, Bim has been living in New Orleans for the past three years and is of Colombian origin. Bim is self-taught and has been making art for seven years.
“Basque began with drawing, quickly moved to illustration, and then began learning embroidery and large-scale sculpture,” Molina said. “After landing in New Orleans, Basque’s focus and passion quickly turned to masking and costuming, utilizing both old and new skill sets to build new worlds and shift consensus reality.”
Phlegm is a New Orleans-born and based multidisciplinary artist who also penned the mantra “Everything You Love About New Orleans is Because of Black People.”
“At this current point, my work serves to exist as a ritual drama of my personal Black universe. It serves to more firmly connect my Black spiritual concept of time,” he explained, “connecting the past to the present and the present to the future – communally sacred and personally precious. It attempts to tie all the loose ends of the Black ethos, influence, and inspiration into one braid. It is, at its core, an affirmation of life – my life, the life of my ancestors, and the life of my community.
“My work, and by extension my life, makes a production about the necessity and value of Black spiritual presence – a meditation in duality. It is serious and irreverent, heavy and heavenly, calculated and casual. It is dual consciousness.”
Wilson is a photography and video artist working in New Orleans. She creates cinematic narratives with an emphasis on feminism, mythology, and the environment. Before moving to New Orleans, Wilson lived in Tokyo, Bangkok, Hamburg, and Shanghai, where she assisted the Chinese photographer Maleonn. She was a member of the artist-run gallery The Front, from 2014-2019, where she exhibited, curated, and organized an annual short film festival.
In 2018, Wilson co-founded the Crystal Efemmes, a quartet of interdisciplinary artists that create immersive installations retelling myths and histories from a perspective that honors marginalized populations. Her work has been featured at the Ford Foundation Gallery in New York City, the New Orleans Museum of Art, the Contemporary Arts Center New Orleans, Kunsthall Stavanger in Norway, and the Oslo International Video Art Festival. She also works as a costume designer and seamstress for film, performance, and fashion.
For more information, contact Molina at firstname.lastname@example.org or 985.549.508.