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Exploring illusionary nature in Wave Hill's Sunroom Project Space
Joiri Minaya, #dominicanwomengooglesearch, 2016. Installation view, Sunroom Project Space at Wave Hill, Digital prints and fabric on Sintra. Dimensions variable. Courtesy of the artist.

BRONX, NY.- Wave Hill welcomes two artists to the Sunroom Project Space this summer. Drawing upon hunting themes, Amie Cunat’s installation, Hideout, features a wall painting and sculptures that create a kind of anti-camouflage, highlighting how people attempt to distinguish themselves from their natural surroundings. Joiri Minaya, conjures images of gardens in a different fashion. #dominicanwomengooglesearch features pixelated images of Dominican women juxtaposed with tropical patterns, playing on the sexist connotations in popular media that associate lush nature with the female form.

Amie Cunat
Amie Cunat’s work investigates the parallel between abstraction and perception. In her installations, she transforms a space by painting on the walls and ceiling in brilliant hues and bold patterns. Sculptural objects placed directly on the floor create a skewed sense of scale and perspective caused by the interplay between two-dimensional shapes and three-dimensional forms.

In the Sunroom, Cunat explores the protective aspect of this space, a natural yet urban environment typically used as a place of leisure, where the landscape can be enjoyed safely from inside. Similarly, Cunat is interested in using the high-visibility colors of game hunting as a kind of anti-camouflage, differentiating between the hunter and the natural setting of the hunt. The installation consists of a site-specific wall painting and hanging elements that resemble large nets, relying on and contrasting with the architectural features of the Sunroom. In the wall painting for example, the contours of amorphous shapes play off of the geometric grids of the windows and doors. The artist uses warm colors, including hunter orange and magenta, which contrast with the dominant greens of the summer landscape visible through the windows. For the hanging elements, the artist drew from various sources of inspiration, including camouflage netting used for hunting and the latticework of trellises found in greenhouses and gardens. She was struck by the way these manufactured items are often disguised to look natural and blend in with the surrounding vegetation, masking what they hold. Walking among Cunat’s net forms, the viewer becomes a part of her constructed environment.

Cunat earned a BA from Fordham University, a post-baccalaureate degree from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and an MFA from Cornell University. She has had solo exhibitions at Outside, North Adams, MA; Foley Gallery’s Window Installation, New York, NY; Court Tree Collective, Brooklyn, NY; The Cooper Union, New York, NY; and AIRY Gallery, Kofu, Japan. Artist residencies include Artist-Teacher Residency at The Cooper Union, Artist in Residence Yamanashi and Parsons Paris Artist Residency.

Joiri Minaya
In her work, Joiri Minaya challenges romanticized notions of the tropics, especially the sexist connotations in popular media that associate lush nature with the female form. She makes performance photographs, videos, postcard interventions and installations that use reappropriated tropical decorative patterns to confront stereotypical expectations about the Caribbean. Throughout her practice, the Afro-Latina perspective subverts the male gaze, turning it against itself and dismantling the desire for the “exotic.”

A search on Google Images using the term “Dominican women” became the basis for Minaya’s current work. The results are a collection of figures, striking poses that are at once obedient to foreign fantasies while also seemingly assertive and selfconfident. At Wave Hill, Minaya isolates parts of these figures and prints them to human proportions, pairing them with stylized “tropical” prints that are typically mass-marketed to tourists. At this scale, the imagery becomes pixelated; some have watermarks linking them to their digital point of origin. Suspended from the ceiling, the images blend in with the natural background visible through the windows, mimicking dense layers of foliage inside a greenhouse. Viewers navigate the forest of imagery to move through the Sun Porch space. As they do so, they may take photos of the work and upload them to social media platforms. Anticipating this layer of visitor interaction, Minaya realizes that the images she used to compose her project will be reinserted into the vast and searchable realm of the Internet, but in a hybridized, destabilized form.

Minaya earned a BFA from Parsons School of Design, New York, NY. Minaya’s work has been featured in exhibitions at El Museo del Barrio, New York, NY; Rush Arts Gallery, New York, NY; the Museum of African Diasporan Arts, Brooklyn, NY; and Northern Manhattan Arts Alliance, New York, NY. She is currently a resident in Smack Mellon’s Artist Studio Program and a participant in the Bronx Museum’s Artist in the Marketplace Program. Minaya is the recipient of a 2015 Joan Mitchell Foundation Emerging Artist Award, a Great Prize and the Audience Award in the XXV Concurso de Arte Eduardo León Jimenes at the Centro León in Santiago and the Great Prize of the XXVII National Biennial of the Museum of Modern Art in Santo Domingo.

Organized by Curator of Visual Arts Gabriel de Guzman, the Sunroom Project Space provides an opportunity for New York-area emerging artists to develop a special project or site-specific work to exhibit in a solo show. The artists participating in the 2016 season are, consecutively, Tai Hwa Goh, Dark Matters, Amie Cunat, Joiri Minaya, Doreen Garner, Ariel Jackson and Denise Treizman.

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