Sara Meltzer Gallery

525-531 West 26th Street
NY-10011 New York

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Room 01: Sara Meltzer Gallery is proud to present VOCHO, a new sculpture by El Paso-based artist Margarita Cabrera. Cabrera presents a life-size, hand-sewn model of a Volkswagen Beetle constructed out of vinyl.

For VOCHO, Cabrera continues to work in her signature medium of soft sculpture and has chosen the VW Beetle, an image that has reached the status of international symbol, for her subject. As a Mexican-American, raised in border towns in Mexico, the Beetle has specific personal and cultural significance for Cabrera. This car continues to afford Mexicans low cost transportation throughout Mexico and has numerous uses ranging from delivery vehicle to taxi cab to police car to family car.

As in all of her works, Cabrera has painstakingly sewn and constructed VOCHO herself. Her own labor poetically parallels that of the factory workers and reinforces the complexity of political and economic issues surrounding the use of migrant labor. The threads, left exposed and untrimmed, serve both as evidence of Cabrera’s own hard work as well as a reminder to the viewer of the manual labor involved in the primary manufacturing of her subject, be it the VW Beetle, presented here, or the appliances of her earlier works. The vinyl naturally sags, much like in Claes Oldenburg’s soft sculptures, giving the work an anthropomorphism that references the bodies of the factory workers and the effects of the harsh physical nature of their jobs.

Created just one year after the last VW Beetle was manufactured in Mexico (July, 2003), Cabrera's VOCHO celebrates and pays tribute to this iconic automobile while simultaneously serving as a symbol for the disjunction and dislocation that is inherent to the physical and emotional process of migration.

Room 02: Sara Meltzer Gallery is proud to present Indelible, new works on paper by Los Angeles artist Emily Joyce. Joyce takes images of tattoos from magazines and collages them into free-associative shapes, in some instances combining them with adhesive vinyl as used in earlier works.

Similar to Rorschach inkblots, these random shapes invite the viewer to speculate upon their meaning and origin. The images that comprise them are of patriotism, rock-stars, flowers, buddhas, nightmares, and butterflies, and are unified by the technique of tattooing, and the constant of skin tone. Skin and tattoo work together to create a final image. Once removed from the owner’s body the image appears neat and graphic, but it eventually degrades in the biological imperfections of pores and nipples. Joyce is interested in tattoo images as entities unto themselves as they become surreal or sometimes science-fictive, as evidenced in the Cronenbergian blobjects that these collages become.


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Margarita Cabrera. VOCHO