Art Gym Gallery is excited to present this year’s Create Award residency exhibition, “Translucid“. The show will combine the works of Madi Brunetti, and Joseph Gendill working in mixed media, and painting. The works on display will demonstrate the ways in which their art practice has evolved throughout the Create Award residency. Join us for an opening reception on January 26 from 6-9PM.
In my work, I’m always thinking about the delicate balance between repulsion and attraction. My practice allows me to reflect upon and dissect my decade long struggle with an eating disorder. This body of work entitled: you look so healthy is a recollection of what it was like to relapse over and over again, it’s about the complete devastation, isolation, and bitter euphoria of my illness. Anorexia is an enigma, it is terrifying, alluring, completely repulsive all at once. I hate who I’ve become with it but it’s terrifying to imagine who I will be without it. It is a sweet poison. I can’t help but gulp it down, even though I know it’s killing me, infecting me.
These portraits represent a subtle yet incessant unraveling, from afar they appear bright and beautiful but upon second glance, things are not as they seem. There’s bruising, blood, tears: all visible manifestations of pain. That is what makes eating disorders so insidious, no matter how your body presents, internally there is so much inescapable, constant pain, it bores into you, infiltrating every cell in your body until you’re consumed by it. Invisible illness is isolation, by combining paint, thread, and insects I encourage you to look closer, to question aesthetic, superficial beauty and dig deeper.
Perfect masks are convincing until they aren’t. Thread is strong until it snaps and insects are ugly until the light glistens softly through their wings. Despite being fully recovered there is a part of me that will always miss being sick. Threads and insects reflect that tenuous duality, reminding us that where there is beauty there is darkness and where there is rot, there is life, rebirth, and purity. you look so healthy is an invitation to step into my inner world but also a lesson in truly seeing others, looking past facades unto complicated truths.
Madi Brunetti is an aspiring mixed media artist from Denver, Colorado. She works primarily with oil paint, hand-embroidery, and even insects! Madi leans into contradiction, distorting the figure in unexpected ways to communicate struggles with the self and the body. Her work has been a part of several art shows exhibited at the History Colorado Center and the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver. Most recently she showed her work in the 60th Annual Juried Exhibition and the Graduating Senior Exhibition both held at the Fort Lewis College Art Gallery. Madi received her BA in Studio Art from Fort Lewis College in December 2021. She hopes to continue her education to become a college Professor of Art with a focus on both of her passions, painting and mixed media.
Politics is a subject with much confrontation. It is impossible to get anywhere as a society without it, yet we all feel a disdain for it and those who work in it. The truth is, we feel this way because there is a moral sense inside each one of us that knows there is a right way to do things, even if we can not agree on what that is. Politics, like many important subjects, is becoming something that is not talked about for fear of offending someone. Unfortunately, this fear makes for shallow relationships and closed minded world views because we are never challenged, and thus never grow. American politics is a story of two parties that have become so closed minded to each other that they are both stagnant and are diminishing instead of growing. How do we bridge minds and hearts together? I believe that art can help.
Art can be an unexpected form of communication. Many times direct words can be rather harsh or blunt, which only bounces off our emotional defenses, rendering the message as dead. Art has the ability to bypass a person’s psychological guards and penetrate the depths of our souls to awaken or arouse them. A true artist will use art as a language. They see peculiarities about our world and attempt to open our eyes to the world we have grown blind to.
I use humor and animals, primarily prime apes, to juxtapose contradicting ideas and closed agendas. My hope is that you stop, laugh, and are gently lead into the thoughts I am trying to communicate. Most likely you agree with some of it and disagree with other bits, and that is ok. I call this series, “Poli-ticklish.”