BIRMINGHAM—Body So Delicious presents a nuanced look at the relationships between the body, sexuality, and sustenance. The participating artists work across a variety of mediums: painting, sculpture, and installation, exploring desire as an idea that is both necessary and utopian. The result is equally playful and astute.
In a collection of soft-hued ceramics, Genesis Belanger creates chimerical allegories in a style the New Yorker dubbed “funny-pages Surrealism.” Objets d’art are born from tongue-in-cheek renderings of manicured nails, squashed cigarette butts, and sugary towers of whipped cream (forms that often become utilitarian, like handles on a vase). Paintings by Ivy Halderman present a cinematic look at the quotidian affairs of a female figure, jauntily posed. It is only upon a closer inspection that the viewer finds this recurring figure is female and frankfurter. Marble and alabaster are coaxed into eroticized forms by artist Nevine Mahmoud — adopting the contours of a cherry or a tongue, highlighting the artist’s mastery of a traditionally male-dominated craft. Greeting visitors upon entry is Amy Brener’s Flexi-Shield (earth mother), a 13.5-foot suspended, silicone sculpture imprinted with fossilized objects of daily life (flowers, keyboards, kitchen-wear) that have been gifted new rendered bodies. Finally, paintings by Alix Pearlstein, band-aids woven into patterns on masonite, a blur of mediums that read like a lesson in seduction, fetishize the textures of domestic objects.
Within the exhibition, visitors will find the commonplace elevated and transformed. Though each artist’s work stands solidly on its own, the exhibition as a whole appeals to the larger drive to unpack the topic of natural, healthful, sexual, and symbolic nourishment.