Now open at Joshua Liner Gallery, Sylvia Ji’s Las Adelitas mixes contemporary portraiture with tradional Mexican imagery.
Like the exhibition title suggests, Ji’s fifteen, acrylic-on-panel portraits depict fierce and feminine soldaderas, the spiritual sisters of women who assisted and fought alongside troops in the Mexican Revolution and were immortalized in folksong with the corrido “La Adelita.” Though not referencing soldiers, per se, Ji’s figures are warriors of sexual and moral ambiguity. With haunting and alluring beauty, they brim over melodramatically with a mix of sexual provocation and danger, as well as the threat of decay implicit in their skeletal markings. The artist has said that her paintings are symbolic reflections of herself or people she knows, but they are also totem images for a kind of universal revolutionary attitude of any age, gender, or cause.
Las Adelitas runs to August 7, 2010.
Joshua Liner Gallery, 548 W. 28th Street, New York, NY.
Selected works after the jump.