Muriel Guépin Gallery is pleased to present “Soma”, a group show of two women artists that focus on the human body and the way it exists. Both Keun Young Park and Diana Schmertz are concerned with the human figure and tackle the antagonism yet indissociable ideas of creation and destruction. Park begins her process with original portrait photography keyed to various evocative hues. She then shreds the images, destroying them, and glues them meticulously back together. Schmertz deals with a similar process of creating an image and then destroying its original form, though she morphs her watercolor painting by laser-cutting it.
Keun Young Park reflects upon the flow of time, the birth and death of the body, the tangibility of the decay of form. She shreds her photographs by hands only to rebuild them, but with evidence of its previous destruction. Between the pasted pieces are thin, white, vein-like lines that reveal the texture of the paper's edge. Her collages have texture and the skin of her characters resembles bark of trees, scale of fishes or features of birds. Her bodies and portraits are fragile, yet have the presence and physicality that command attention. Often times she splices images of nature with her bodies, to emphasize the cyclical existence of all things, all nature melds into one another.
Diana Schmertz uses a laser machine to cut Euler’s number, e, into her watercolor paintings. This mathematical constant scientifically measures a recurring rate of growth and decay found in nature. Each piece depicts moments of contact between people, the feeling of growth and decay through physical sensation. Together, mechanical and painterly qualities express the parallels between the logical world and the emotive world. The paintings themselves show piles of bodies enveloped within circular successions, a very literal understanding of growth in a mathematical form. The constant duplication of extremities clambering on top of one another mimic cell cultures, or sums of exponential equations.