April Gornik lives and works in New York City and in North Haven, Long Island, NY. She has work in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY, the Whitney Museum of Contemporary Art, NY, the Museum of Modern Art NY, the National Museum of American Art in Washington, DC, the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, DC, the Cincinnati Museum, the High Museum of Art, Atlanta, the Modern Art Museum of Art Fort Worth, the Orlando Museum of Art, and other major public and private collections. She has shown extensively in the United States and abroad. Aprils most recent one-person show in New York was at the Danese Gallery in Chelsea. She will be representing the gallery at the ADA Armory show in February 2010.
"My paintings reflect my interest in power, manipulation and the role of the individual in inherited belief systems. It is important for me to examine the duality of truth and falsehood throughout my work, which I do by creating 'portraits' which may or may not be based on real documentation.
The series 'Boys' in which dictators are depicted as children, looks at purity and corruption and, in particular, the notion of the 'Innocent Child'. The 'Girls' collection looks at the continuing media-led sexualization of childhood and raises questions about our collusion in the deification and commodification of female child stars, from Shirley Temple to Britney Spears. The process of self invention, innocence and culpability touches both series differently.
The works in 'Absolute Democracy', 'Let Them Eat Cake' and 'Gods & Aliens' explore notions of authority and look at out acceptance of inherited power in different guises, from political dynasties and royalty to the Church. 'Gods & Aliens' compares the respect afforded to religious groups for their beliefs in gods with the ridicule given to those who believe in aliens.
'All the Presidents' Girls' depicts presidential mistresses from the eighteenth century to the 1990's, reminding us that while wars rage on around us, our leaders are busy enjoying and hiding their duplicitous affairs. The series 'Swans' (drawn from the name of an American extreme makeover TV series), 'Vamps & Innocents' and the 'WAMPAS Baby Stars' each look at different aspects of the American dream, the birth of celebrity and the role of women in those processes.
I hope that my images will raise questions about how and why a person, or group of persons, behaves in a certain way. As Foucault explained, a person's identity is not preset - rather, it is determined by the interactions of a person with another and is, therefore, a shifting temporary construction. My work looks at idea of personal responsibility within structures determined by time and place and the role of those who create those structures."
Annie Kevans work can be viewed at FAS Contemporary, 148 Bond Street, London or at Perry Rubenstein, 527 West 23rd Street, New York.
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