Suspended in my Masquerade by Rachel Klinghoffer

Photo Credit: Etienne Frossard
Asylum alum Rachel Klinghofer explores how emotions and memories can be expressed through objects in her solo exhibition, “Suspended in my Masquerade” which is on view at Ortega Y Gasset in Brooklyn through March 29, 2020.
My solo installation at The Skirt at Ortega y Gasset Project titled, Suspended in my Masquerade, which references a lyric from Springsteen’s Growin’ Up, investigates the complex rituals surrounding memory and sentimental objects. My work is driven by a strong emotional connection to my family, friends and community. I aim to pay homage to the past by literally suspending those personal items in time and space, imploring viewers to excavate. Simultaneously organic and alien-like, my sculptural forms are covered, surface textures obliterated and then exquisitely adorned with small embedded objects of personal significance. Surface colors reference the Romantics, particularly the Hudson River School with its emphasis on the subtleties and range of light. My laboriously manipulated sculptural shapes hint at everyday objects including pre-loved sneakers, repurposed precious and semiprecious stones including rubies, sapphires, emeralds, even diamonds. Closer inspection allows for exploration of the greater meanings designated to each item. Materials lists read like memories, items like “one of the vintage boots I wore all through undergrad”, and “coral necklace from uncle”.
Suspended in my Masquerade installation view. Photo by Etienne Frossard
This new series of work incorporates the craft of memory glass-making into the sculptures, a popular activity for girls during the time I was bat mitzvahed. Titles of the works are pulled from the lyrics of my playlists.  As with my own work, I pull from what already exists in the world. Individual pieces take their names from The Grateful Dead, Talking Heads, Beatles, Tom Petty, Drake, Paul Simon, Phish, TV on the Radio, and so on. By repurposing materials, making and remaking them into paintings and sculptures, I prompt a reimagining of uses for these relic-like objects. Articles my  personal connection to femininity, craft-making, Judaism, romance, pushing the definition of painting. Through time, the items become specimens, icons. They are poked, prodded, stained, sprayed, stroked, rubbed, dipped, then pulled, torn, cracked open and broken apart making up and becoming the new work.

Right: Who am I to blow against the wind, 24 x 18 inches, 2020. Left: Vibes that rise like fireflies illuminate our play, 24 x 18 inches, 2020. Photos by Etienne Frossard

Suspended in my Masquerade is up through March 29 at Ortega y Gasset Projects, The Skirt, 363 Third Avenue, Brooklyn, NY.
Suspended in my Masquerade installation view. Photo by Etienne Frossard

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