Sarah Kravitz is pleased to present girlchild, a solo exhibition by Warsaw-based painter Helena Stiasny curated by Elaine ML Tam.
Who or what is the enigmatic 'girlchild'?
She is an issue of feminism, the victim of misogyny, an instance of culture, the fiction of women, the dysphoria of gender. However, she eludes a fixed archetype or recognizable identity, as the girlchild defies definition, expressing herself through an infinite array of forms and emotions.
What is unequivocal is her impossible youth, a defining characteristic that accentuates the term's excessiveness and redundancy. Transformed into consumable fantasy, the girlchild serves as a poignant reflection of insatiable desire and unfulfilled yearning, wherein her innocence becomes a twisted manifestation of perversion.
Enveloped by every facet of culture, the girlchild simultaneously assumes the roles of a standard, an aesthetic representation, and an idealized figure. Yet, her most tangible presence emerges in the negative spaces — those moments of transgression where her supposed perfection unravels and betrays her.
In her inaugural solo London exhibition, Helen Stiasny gathers a collection of recent paintings and works on paper, crafting a heartfelt ode to the ephemeral essence of the girlchild.
Helena Stiasny (b. 1997) is a 26-year-old painter, photographer and illustrator from Warsaw interested in the status of woman in the patriarchal society. She uses self-portraits as a medium to challenge the subject–object antinomy characteristic for the representation of female. Exploring the themes of confrontation with the body from the borderline of girlhood and womanhood, her works are the manifestations of psychical states referring to the images well known from the art history and the pop culture as well as to the archetypal images which allow her to mythologize the intimate life of subjective femininity. Inspired by inspired by dreams, memories, ancient myths and beliefs her work has been profiled in Vogue, who call Stiasny “both the creator and the heroine” of her paintings.
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