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Identity in Context




Identity in Context 


June 2-30, 2024 

Opening Reception: June 2, 4-6pm. RSVP

Closing Reception: June 30, 4-6pm. RSVP

Curator-led Tour: June 30, 4-6pm. RSVP

Curated by Emireth Herrera Valdés


Artists: Bruna D’Alessandro, Anthony Johnson, Kahori Kamiya, Clarisse Lo, Salome Rigvava, Luis Alvaro Sahagun, and Kerry R. Thompson.


Kunstraum LLC presents Identity in Context, a group exhibition originating from the Kunstraum network. This exhibition is curated by curator-in-residence Emireth Herrera Valdés. Featuring seven artists from diverse cultural backgrounds, this exhibition examines layers of identity across different contexts. By exploring culture, history, memory, and perception, each artist offers a unique perspective on the essence of selfhood. Through their work, they provide insights into their own approaches to personal and collective identity, illuminating intersections between individual narratives and broader societal constructs.


Clarisse Lo's photographic works, Echo and Echo #4, 2023 examines familial bonds and generational connections. Capturing the essence of her grandfather's life, each photograph reveals layers of existence, inviting viewers on a journey of rediscovery that transcends generations. Steven Anthony Johnson II's artwork, Mae Mae and No-No, 2021 addresses issues of identity and "otherness." Crafted from charcoal, graphite, and wax, this drawing captures both motion and stillness within a domestic scene, encouraging profound reflection on race and perception in contemporary society. Made of beads, copal smoke, family photos, found objects and diverse construction materials like rope and gorilla glue, Luis Alvaro Sahagun's Limpia no. 17, 2023 evokes spiritual healing and pays homage to marginalized laboring communities. The baroque-style frame celebrates resilience and heritage while confronting contradictions within cultural identity. 


Kahori Kamiya's Sanctuary, 2023 excavates her Japanese roots, exploring themes of spirituality and nature. Inspired by nature, Kamiya’s expressive sculptures reflect on the interconnectedness of life and the enduring nurturing, caring, and loving essence derived from both her Japanese heritage and her experiences as a mother. Bruna D’Alessandro's Portrait With Steel Breasts, 2024 embodies the artist's empowerment and expresses her identity as a sculptor, woman, and individual. In collaboration with photographer Olga Antipina, the artist transforms the act of wearing these sculpted steel breasts into a poetic statement, seamlessly merging self-expression with artistry. Hammer formed by the artist specifically to be worn, the sculptures Steel Breasts, 2023 symbolize strength and resilience. Salome Rigvava's Valentine's Day in the Blue Room, 2024 offers a personal reflection on the symbolism of femininity and cultural identity. With a focus on societal constructs, Rigvava's painting navigates the nuances of self-awareness through soft yet psychologically charged tones.


Kerry R. Thompson's painting, Kalahari, 2023 navigates the connections between natural systems and human intervention, prompting contemplation on humanity's role in shaping the environment and its impact on identity. Through a contrast of scientific illustration and traditional oil painting, Thompson explores the delicate balance between natural and artificial elements, inviting viewers to ponder the intricate interdependence of the natural world.


Through diverse perspectives and mediums, Identity in Context exhibition prompts dialogue and introspection, fostering a deeper understanding of human identity. This exhibition is on view at Kunstraum LLC gallery from June 2nd - 30th, 2024.



About the Artists


Clarisse Lo, born in Shanghai, China, has found her creative sanctuary amidst the lively atmosphere of New York City. Currently pursuing a BFA in Photography & Video at the School of Visual Arts, Clarisse's journey blends cultural heritage with spiritual exploration. Through her lens, Clarisse captures fleeting moments of tranquility amidst urban chaos, inviting viewers to reflect on deeper spiritual dimensions. Her work resonates with a sense of calm, encouraging introspection. Recognized in the New York art scene, Clarisse's photography has been featured in galleries like the Brooklyn Film Camera Gallery. In 2023, she received an Honorable Mention in the Fine Art category at the Annual Photography Awards. With an unwavering passion for transcending the ordinary, Clarisse continues to push boundaries in photography, inspiring audiences to find beauty and spirituality in their surroundings


Steven Anthony Johnson II (b. 1993, Baltimore, Maryland) is a draftsperson, interpretive archivist, writer and curator living in Brooklyn, NY. They hold an MFA from the New York Academy of Art and a BFA from the Maryland Institute College of Art. Utilizing the language of drawing, animation, and photo-documentary their work attempts to make peace between the religious, intellectual, and humanistic ideals in relation to Blackness and “Otherness” through multidisciplinary storytelling. Johnson’s work has recently been shown at The Armoury; New York, The International Studio and Curatorial Program (ISCP); New York, VAE Raleigh; North Carolina, Cooper Gallery; United Kingdom and others. Johnson has been in-residence at BRIClab, ISCP and Field Projects; New York, Inbreak; Los Angeles, and The Royal Drawing School; London and others. 


Luis Alvaro Sahagun was born in Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico and now lives in Asheville, North Carolina. Luis is an artist and ritualist whose practice confronts the palpable inescapability of race and transforms art into an act of cultural and spiritual reclamation. He has exhibited widely at venues including the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Latchkey Gallery NYC, Charlie James Gallery (Los Angeles), and The National Museum of Mexican Art (Chicago), among others. He has held residencies at Roswell, NM; The Sally and Don Lucas Artists Residency Program (LAP), Saratoga, CA, the Chicago Artist Coalition; and was a Critical Race Studies Scholar at Michigan State University. His work has been examined in publications including Hyperallergic, Artforum, the Los Angeles Times, and the Chicago Tribune. His work is included in the Fidelity Collection of Boston, Alta Med Collection of Los Angeles, the Allex Ko Collection, and the Beth Rudin DeWoody Collection, among many others. His practice has been spotlighted as having a unique voice helping to shape, shift, and touch the world on radio, podcasts, and television networks such as MundoFOX, NBC, UNIVISION and WBEZ-NPR. He received his undergraduate degree from Southern Illinois University- Carbondale, an MFA at Northern Illinois University. Luis is 3Arts awardee and a 2023 United States Artist Fellow.


Kahori Kamiya was born in Nagoya, Japan and moved to New York, where she received her second MFA in Fine Art from the School of Visual Arts. She is a recipient of the grant from the Puffin Foundation and ISCP residency. In 2023, Kamiya had her New York debut solo show at Amos Eno Gallery, which gained recognition from esteemed platforms such as Hyperallergic, Art Spiel, and Two Coats of Paint. Her artistic journey extends to both national and international exhibitions, including SPRING/BREAK Art Show, Flux Factory, Dumbo Arts Festival, Oculus Westfield World Trade Center, Woodstock Artists Association Museum, DIY Cultures in London, Prospect Gallery in Australia, 14th Media Art Biennale Alternative Now in Poland, and Pärnu International Film & Video Festival in Estonia. This summer, Kamiya will be participating in Chanorth Residency and Upstate Art Weekend.


Bruna D’Alessandro is a sculptor originally from Rome, Italy, based in Brooklyn, NY. Her work focuses on creating metal sculptures with a variety of techniques, such as welding, fabrication, hammer work, metal forming, forging, and brazing. Steel, stainless, aluminum, and brass are her mediums, and metalworking is her creative process. Her crafted sculptures draw inspiration from childhood memories and toys, from her current surroundings, and, often, from the enchanting qualities of the metals themselves. In her pieces, she explores the themes of searching for identity, human relationships, and intimacy. She holds an MFA from Accademia di Belle Arti di Roma. Her works have been shown internationally in venues such as, most recently, the Center For Metal Arts in PA, the Museum of the Central Institute of Graphic in Rome, Italy, The Border Project Space in Brooklyn, the 132nd Street Community Garden and SLA Art Space in NYC. She was an artist in residence at The Steel Yard and in Franconia Sculpture Park in 2022, and in Salem Art Works in 2019 and 2021. In 2020, she Co-Founded The Artist Gardener NYC, a public art program focused on revitalizing the community through exhibitions, art activities and educational programs in the community gardens of NYC. Her public sculpture The Acorn is currently on view at the outdoor museum of Franconia Sculpture Park, MN.


Salome Rigvava (b. 1988, Georgia) Rigvava lives and works in New York. She holds an MFA from the New York Academy of Art and studied at the Stuttgart State Academy of Art and Design under Professor Holger Bunk. She also pursued painting studies at the Tbilisi State Academy of Art, earning both a Bachelor’s degree (2006-2010) and a Master’s degree (2010-2012). Throughout her career, she has participated in numerous exhibitions worldwide and served as an Artist in Residence at the Art Mora Studio Program in Ridgefield, New Jersey, in 2016. She was also a recipient of a women's scholarship at the New York Art Academy of Art from 2020 to 2022 and was a finalist for the AXA Art Prize in New York in 2022. Her art explores heavy cultural symbols, with a focus on female figures portrayed in various states of awareness, characterized by soft tones that can become hyper-saturated.


Kerry R. Thompson was born 1986 in San Diego California, graduating Magna  Cum-Laude from San Francisco State University with a Bachelor's degree in art in  2009 and later from the New York Academy of Art with a Masters degree in  Painting in 2014. While there, Kerry was awarded multiple scholarships, and was one of 6 students  to be shortlisted for the Third Year Post-Graduate Fellowship. Since exhibiting his  work in his first solo show, “K.R. Thompson: A New Mythos” at the Noel-Baza  Gallery in San Diego, CA (2012), Kerry has shown in numerous exhibitions  throughout New York City and beyond and has work in the private collections of  local and international collectors. In addition, Kerry has participated in several  artist residencies overseas and locally, including the Terra Foundation for  American Art-Europe in Giverny, France, the Hudson River School Painting  Residency at Clermont and Olana, NY, and the Bingham Cottage Artist-in Residence at Hog Island Audubon Camp in Bremen, ME. He was the recipient of  a generous grant from the Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation of the Arts, and  recently completed a mural for elementary school PS206Q in Queens through  the School Construction Authority of NY’s Percent for Art program. 



PUBLIC PROGRAMS 

A closing reception will be held on Sunday, June 30th from 4pm-6pm, with a curator-led tour at 4pm.



LOCATION: 

Address: KUNSTRAUM LLC, 20 Grand Ave, Loft 509, Brooklyn, NY 11205

Hours: Saturday - Monday, 2-6pm, by appointment only – please contact us first!

Contact: Emireth Herrera | emireth@kunstraumllc.com   

Social Media: Facebook, Instagram: @kunstraumllc, #kunstraumllc 



Image Credits: Kahori Kamiya, Sanctuary, 2023

 

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KUNSTRAUM's programs are supported, in part, by Art in General. The exhibition is a culmination of KUNSTRAUM’s Open Call program 2024


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