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Celebrated body paint artist Trina Merry presented her powerful exhibit and live performance “Objectified”  on November 14th at The Untitled Space. The exhibition (on view through November 16th) and performance was curated by gallery director Indira Cesarine and the opening coincided with Tribeca Art + Culture Night. Throughout the night, models covered head-to-toe in body paint enthralled the audience by posing with lampshades, cakes, and candles, as music played throughout the night, seamlessly communicating the artist’s statement. Visitors could watch as Merry painted the models, giving the public a rare glimpse at how an artist works.

The addition of the live performance added to the excitement of the evening. Guests were in awe of the models’ ability to contort themselves into tricky and unique positions. Everyone was appreciative of the chance to interact with the exhibit in a more impressionable way than just engaging with photographs on the wall, it brought the artists work literally to life. Wine and chocolates were served throughout the evening.

This year was the 12th edition of Tribeca Art + Culture Night, with 20 different venues putting on exhibitions, workshops, live performances, and talks. Over 200 artists and more than ten exclusive events were on view.

<em>Objectified Trina Merry performance and exhibition The Untitled Space Gallery New York<em>

Artist statement on “Objectified” Exhibit and Performance:
“Do the living spaces that surround us own us, or do we own them? My Objectified series poses these questions and allows viewers to come up with answers by creating a conversation within the self. What is all this stuff in my living space, and why do I choose these material items? There seems to be a sort of cohesive relationship built between animate and inanimate objects in the home. We want to entice you to explore four powerful examples of common living spaces that will come alive through human models fashioned with body paint.

About 14 years ago, I was accused by a conservative friend of objectifying women in my artwork. Since I collaborate with consenting (often enthusiastic) models & performers, I laughed and thought I’d delve deeper into the phrase “Objectified” and the domestic expectations that were being placed on me, questioning consumerism and identity. Now, at nearly 40 and having grown past many of these societal pressures, I revisit this series within the context of our current political climate to examine the historical female nude within the context of art history, issues of consent, laws that remove the freedom of choice women have over their own bodies, and social media censorship.”

<em>Objectified Trina Merry performance and exhibition The Untitled Space Gallery New York<em>

Trina Merry is a leading body painter in a generation that emerged in the wake of the influence of Yves Klein, Yayoi Kusama, and Verushka. Merry studied with Robert Wilson and Marina Abramovic as a Watermill Center summer resident, creating five living bodypaint installations on site. There she absorbed their unique attention to space, silence in stillness and transported these applications in her work to the chaotic neon streets of New York and subsequently, the world. She has also studied with Alex and Allyson Grey on “Visionary Art and the Light Body”. She has crafted her own visual and conceptual vocabulary that emerged through her focus on the points of juxtaposition between the organic human form and the phallic hard lines of architecture.

Merry has performed and exhibited at The Whitney Biennial, Getty Villa, San Jose Museum of Art (with Andy Goldsworthy), Attleboro Arts Museum, ESMoA, Museo De Bardini (Florence), Edward Hopper House, Red Dot Miami, Superfine! Art Fair, Satellite Art Show, WORKS San Jose & SOMArts alongside the Guerilla Girls. Merry currently lives in New York City has a BFA in film.

  • Event photography by Mikhail Torich and The Untitled Space

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