“Karma Kit Kaboodle,” a solo exhibition of new work by artist Maria Pessino opened at the Keyes Gallery in the Chelsea Art District of New York. The show is a narrative collection of multi-media works that reflect and record Pessino’s recent life struggles. Pessino has channeled her mental, physical and emotional traumas of this dark period into personal works of art that have allowed her to transcend the pain of this challenging period. The new exhibition of “tiny stages” features new assemblage works from Pessino’s series of wood and glass “Troves,” along with collaged poems from her “Camollage” series that includes a limited edition catalog.
“Maria Pessino’s troves are tiny stages where poetry and mystery are framed.” Robert Wilson
Constructed of found and appropriated objects, Pessino’s boxed assemblages appear like scenic vignettes or theatrical dioramas where a narrative exposition unfolds, each on its own stage. Presented as segments of a larger drama, like acts in a performance, the work travels thematically from series to series, recounting Pessino’s deeply personal journey from loss to recovery.
The collection of wood “Trove” assemblages for Lyme’s, Lead and Lousy Love were made during some of Pessino’s darkest hours as she navigated through the wilderness of simultaneous heartbreak and illness.
Skeletal figures, bloody arrows and upended dolls — either disembodied, dismembered or decapitated — tell the story of being upended — torn apart emotionally and psychically. The act of creating these pieces was a healing and redemptive experience, “good medicine”, for Pessino, allowing her to pick up the pieces of her broken heart and body to move in the direction of triumphant beauty.
The glass “troves” series is what came after the darkest period. Lighter and more festive, making these felt like good Karma for Pessino. They express the artist’s praise and gratitude for having made it to the other side. The 24 “camollage” pieces included in Karma Kit Kaboodle are Pessino’s first foray into poetry. The words are intentionally obscured in an overlay of text against ornately floral, collaged backgrounds. The first poems are about physical pain and a broken heart, but as Pessino moved through these traumas, the poems move toward themes of life, beauty and the artist’s children.
“Maria Pessino is a versatile artist with a Latin perspective, unique in combining painting, sculpture and drawing and words, to express her feelings and emotions regarding, politics, god, tragedies and spirit promises. Her Objects are puzzles of information and opinions, uniquely crafted into a personal style. We leave her works wondering and questioning the life about many issues.” — Hans Van de Bovenkamp
“Karma Kti Kaboodle” will be on view at 551 West 21st Street (Studio 410A) through April 29th. There will be a special live musical performance on April 26th at 6:30 featuring Pessino with David Oquendo on guitar. Seating is limited and tickets can be purchased in advance for $15 by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org
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