I Am Large, I Contain Multitudes : David Rios Ferriera and Shoshanna Weinberger
Wed. Feb. 5, – March 3, 2019
Artist’s Talk: Wed. Feb. 5, 5-6pm
Opening Reception: Wed. Feb. 5, 6-8pm
The Mueller Gallery at Caldwell University is pleased to announce the upcoming exhibition: I Am Large, I Contain Multitudes: recent work by David Rios Ferriera and Shoshanna Weinberger. The exhibition is free and open to the public.
The title of the exhibition is taken from the poem “Song of Myself, Part 51” by Walt Whitman in which he writes:
Do I contradict myself?
Very well then I contradict myself,
(I am large, I contain multitudes.)
This affecting verse from the poem is a celebration of both the unique and the universal. It reminds us that we are never just one thing, and all the eccentricities and contradictions are simply part of being human.
The work by both artists in this exhibition addresses the complexities of identity and touches on the idea that none of us is just one “self” but that we are actually comprised of multiple sometimes contradictory parts. David Rios Ferriera and Shoshanna Weinberger both investigate race, gender and sexuality through their own unique and different Caribbean-American experiences and backgrounds.
Shoshanna Weinberger’s work explores the complexity of heritage, assumed norms and confronts cultural ambiguity and peripheral identities. Her work is rooted in an exploration of her Caribbean-American heritage, the consequential implications and experiences of racial identity, and external perception of racial categorization. Referencing adolescent memory, body image, and our current xenophobic rhetoric, Weinberger renders her muses along a spectrum of character types and marginalized bodies. Some are excessive, sexualized, and quirky. Others are passive or dominant, a culmination of figures that ultimately question standards of beauty and identity.
In David Rios Ferreira’s works on mylar and on paper, postcolonial images merge with children’s pop culture to produce eerily alluring abstract scenes. Clusters of lines and layers of color dominate space, creating dense, hybrid forms. Familiar characters like Astro Boy, Pinocchio, and Peter Pan are deconstructed and reinterpreted to become temporal beings and transmitters of imagined histories. These beings, and the space they inhabit, furnish an in-between reality—a reality that signals how the body both bears and transforms historical memory.
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
Born in Kingston, Jamaica, Shoshanna Weinberger received her MFA from Yale School of Art in 2003, and her BFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1995. Living and working in Newark, NJ for the
past 14 years, Weinberger explores the standards and consequential implications and experiences of racial identity and external perception or imposition of racial categorization. Much of Weinberger’s work is rooted in an exploration of her Caribbean-American heritage. It draws strongly on the complexity of heritage and assumed norms as she goes about defining the female archetype. Referencing her own adolescent memory and our current xenophobic zeitgeist, Weinberger renders her female muses along a spectrum of character types. Some are excessive, sexualized, and quirky; while others are passive, or dominant, a culmination of figures that ultimately question standards and the psychology of beauty and identity.
Her work has been exhibited nationally and internationally in numerous invitational group and solo exhibitions. Weinberger is a five-time participant of the Jamaica Biennial from 2006 to 2017 held in Kingston, Jamaica; and her work was included in the 2013 Martinique Biennale. A recipient of several awards, residencies, and grants that include: 2014 Joan Mitchell Foundation Painters and Sculptors Grant; 2015 Joan Mitchell Center, Art-in-Residence, New Orleans; 2016 Fellowship from the New Jersey State Council of the Arts; 2017-2018 Project for Empty Space, Art-in-Residence, Newark, NJ; 2019 Dawn Scott Memorial Award, Summer Exhibition, National Gallery of Jamaica; and recently appointed as a 2019-2020 McMillan Stewart Endowed Chair in Painting, Maryland Institute College of Art;
Public collections include New Jersey State Museum, Trenton, NJ; The Newark Museum, Newark, NJ; The Sagamore Collection, Miami, FL; Girls Club Collection, Fort Lauderdale, FL; The Margulies Collection, Miami, FL.; Davidson College, Davidson, NC
David Rios Ferreira
David Rios Ferreira was born in Bronx, NY and currently lives and works in Jersey City and New York City. In his mixed-media drawings and sculptures, appropriated images from coloring books and animation, 18th-century newspaper etchings, and political cartoons from the 1900s coalesce into a study on identity formation—an investigation of race, nation, sexuality, and gender. Familiar cartoon characters are deconstructed and reinterpreted to become temporal beings and transmitters of imagined histories. These beings, and the space they inhabit, furnish an in-between reality—a reality that signals how the body both bears and transforms historical memory.
Rios Ferreira has exhibited in galleries and museums in the US and abroad including Seattle, WA and Berlin, Germany, and has had solo exhibitions at Rush Arts Corridor Gallery (Brooklyn, NY), Wave Hill (Bronx, NY) and the Brattleboro Museum & Art Center, (Brattleboro, VT). He has held residencies at the Lower East Side Printshop (New York, NY), Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts (New York, NY), and The Center for Book Arts (New York, NY). Rios Ferreira has participated in professional development programs such as Emerge 11 at Aljira (Newark, NJ) and the Bronx Museum’s Artist in the Marketplace (AIM) program (Bronx, NY). Awards include a New Jersey State Council on the Arts Fellowship, the Innovative Cultural Advocacy Fellowship from the Caribbean Cultural Center African Diaspora Institute, a National Association of Latino Arts & Culture Fund for the Arts grant, and the ArtSlant Grand Prize. David Rios Ferreira received a B.F.A. at The Cooper Union.