The exhibition Disguises features contemporary artists working with garment design, masking, and make-up as a form of world-building and story-telling. The exhibiting artists from Colombia, Israel, and New Orleans share a commitment to creating characters that transcend the mundane and propose alternate realities. Orly Anan and Ryn Wilson create elaborate scenes to implicate how mysticism might trickle from the unconscious and become folded into everyday life. Basqo Bim and phlegm engage in ritual acts of mask-making that reshape ancestral and mythical narratives. Set within miles of Louisiana Carnival capitals, these artists offer us a glimpse into the transformative possibilities of costuming.
About the Artists:
Basqo Bim is from a rural town in South Carolina and has been living in New Orleans for the past three years. They are of Colombian origin - their parents immigrated to South Carolina over forty years ago. Basqo is self-taught and has been making art for seven years. Their brother was an artist, and he motivated them to take the leap.
Basqo began with drawing, quickly moved to illustration, and then began learning embroidery
and large-scale sculpture. After landing in New Orleans, Basqo’s focus and passion
quickly turned to masking and costuming, and utilizes both old and new skill sets
to build new worlds and shift consensus reality. Material usage consists of both intentionally acquired and recycled / found objects.
Their work is a hybrid of soft sculpture, assemblage, costuming, and masking.
Orly Anan is a Colombian/ Israeli visual artist and Art Director interested in the mysticism implicated in everyday life, she is currently experimenting with the intersection of ritual and popular culture, as well as Anthropocosmic Surrealism. Her client list includes Nike, VH1, Spotify, and Netflix to name a few and her artwork has been exhibited in museums and galleries across the world including Miami, London, Mexico City and Toronto. Her immersive installation Salon Delicatessen is currently on view at the Museum of Museums, Seattle. Orly Anan’s artistic research has led her to explore the traditions of various countries, from Asia to Latin America, these cultures being her main inspiration. She currently lives and works in Mexico City.
phlegm is a New Orleans born and based multidisciplinary artist who also penned the mantra "Everything You Love About New Orleans Is Because of Black People." seen on Afropunk, in Interview Magazine, on the marquee at the famous Joy Theater, shared by New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell and on countless lifestyle accessories about his work phlegm writes:
"At this current point, my work serves to exist as a Ritual Drama of my personal Black universe. It serves to more firmly connect my Black spiritual concept of time. Connecting the past to the present and the present to the future. Communally sacred. Personally precious. It attempts to tie all the loose ends of Black ethos, Black influence, Black inspiration into one braid. It is at its core, an affirmation of life. My life, the life of my ancestors, and the life of my community. My work (and by extension my life) makes a production about the necessity and value of Black spiritual presence. A meditation in duality. It is serious and irreverent, heavy and heavenly, calculated and casual. It is dual consciousness."