Whitney Claflin


167 Rivington Street
New York
Lower East Side
Oct 30th 2020 — Dec 19th 2020

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"ADD SHOT," Whitney Claflin's first solo show at Bodega, brings together an eclectic group of new work—best described as "mostly painting." The ambiguous nature of the exhibition also reflects Claflin's broader practice, which plays with the malleable identity of materials. By using unconventional items—such as sequins, magazine clippings, cigarettes, and eye shadow—to create compositions, Claflin frames her artistic questions in the deconstruction of the material terms of her work.

For instance, in Life ('s like this) (2020) [pictured], a painting on enamel and found fabric, the word "STILL" is spelled out in Nat Sherman MCDs. Ash punctuates the dot above the "I" as colorful ink doodles branch from the cigarette-made letters. The painting is awash with streaking color, even as the word itself encourages a pause. A similar tension of meaning is at work in Claflin's Mime in a Merry-Go-Round (2020), which delves further into the sculptural: a mannequin sports custom-painted clothing and listens to headphones upon a plinth. Part department store display and part classical sculpture posed in contrapposto, the piece is several things at once. In "ADD SHOT," the notion that things are not always as they seem prevails as objects otherwise regarded simply as visual noise are transformed in the context of the show.

Whitney Claflin, Life ('s like this), 2020. Nat Sherman’s MCDs, ash, alcohol ink, enamel on found fabric, 20 x 30 inches.