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Antonia Wright's first Los Angeles solo exhibition opens at Luis De Jesus Los Angeles
Antonia Wright, Deep Water Horizon, 2010-11. Video transferred to digital format, color, sound, 33 seconds. Courtesy of the artist and Luis De Jesus Los Angeles.

LOS ANGELES, CA.- Luis De Jesus Los Angeles presents Cuban-American artist ANTONIA WRIGHT in her first Los Angeles solo exhibition, titled Be, on view from May 18 — June 29, 2013.

The sad, strange, beautiful vulnerability and, at times, painful faces of the human condition are all considerations in the work of Miami-based artist Antonia Wright. Wright explores the various politics and comic facets of human experience through a multifarious, process-oriented practice combining video, performance, photography, poetry, sound and sculpture. Wright acknowledges the layers of societal taboos and barriers between her artistic choices, and pointedly pushes them into the public realm for the viewer to examine.

One view in Gallery One, the exhibition presents two videos: the premiere of the eponymously titled Be (2013) and Deep Water Horizon (2009). For Be, Wright covered herself in a colony of bees while practicing Tai Chi. Tai Chi and bees are similar in that they both have the capacity for violence, but in their peaceful states, raise vitality in the body and the environment. Wright's decision to place her own life in danger becomes a powerful metaphor for the fragility of life and a lesson for how we can remain peaceful in the face of danger. In preparation for the performance, which was enacted against a bright blue sun-filled April sky, Wright spent a year learning Tai Chi and meditation, including traveling to India to receive personal instruction at an ashram.

Created in response to the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, Deep Water Horizon depicts Wright rolling her naked body down a filthy, glass-strewn back alley in Miami during the middle of the night—as "a way to feel the equivalent of something that seemed so far away." Through Be and Deep Water Horizon, Wright stakes a personal claim and her integral role to the survival of our ecosystem, while the duality in these chosen subjects creates a visual metaphor that questions the violent direction our society continues to move in.

Antonia Wright (born 1979) graduated from the New School University in New York City with an MFA in Poetry (2005) and studied at the International Center of Photography. She received her BA (2002) from the University of Montana, Missoula, MT. Recent exhibitions include Trading Places II at The Museum of Contemporary Art North Miami, Perfect Lovers (a Frieze New York special project) at the White Box Gallery in New York, Are You Ok?, at Spinello Projects, Miami, Where All of Your Dreams Come True, at The Mosquera Collection, Miami, Fireflies, at Aeroplastics in Brussels, Belgium, and MOCA Optic Nerve VIII at The De La Cruz Collection, Miami. Other venues in South Florida include Primary Projects, David Castillo Gallery, Dorsch Gallery, The Tampa Museum of Art, The Frost Museum at Florida International University, and The Cisneros-Fontanals Foundation (CIFO).

Wright's work is held in the permanent collections of Martin Z. Margulies at The Warehouse (Miami), The Hadley Martin Fisher Collection (Tampa), and the Marty & Cricket Taplin Collection at the Sagamore Hotel (Miami Beach). Wright has been featured in publications including Art in America, New York Magazine, Daily News, The Miami Herald, El Nuevo Herald, The Art Newspaper, The Sun-Sentinel, ArtSlant, and Miami Art Guide, among others.

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