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“Home Bodies” Solo Exhibition by Emma Stern at Carl Kostyál Gallery, Stockholm

November 2, 2021
3 min read
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Carl Kostyál Gallery | Hospitalet, Stockholm proudly presents “Home Bodies”, New York-based artist Emma Stern’s second solo exhibition with the gallery and first show in Sweden. The exhibition will open on Thursday November 11th and will run until December 3rd. Preview: Thursday November 11th, 5-8 pm.

Emma painted the series Home Bodies while living in London at the beginning of 2021. The country was under a strict and prolonged lockdown due to Covid-19 and Emma spent her days between the house and the studio. In this series of paintings, she explores the female body in typical housekeeping activities, questioning gender roles through the idiosyncratic, overly-sexualised poses of her cybers.

Borrowing from the visual vocabulary of online niche subcultures such as fursonas, fandom and 3D erotica, Emma Stern plays with the quasi-pornographic representation of women in the virtual world, combining traditional painterly techniques such as monochromatic underpainting and chiaroscuro with virtual 3D programmes and modelling to create eerily anonymous, finely-worked ‘portraits’, reclaiming these man-made avatars for the female domain.

“Stern comments on the consequences of biases and preferences, particularly within the male-dominated spheres of software and technology. She further inspects the effects of these biases through the female body as it would be seen in cyberspace. Her dreamlike aesthetic borrows from the visual lexicon of gaming culture, such as those seen in furries, fandom and various erotic 3D art message boards and creates arresting scenes that truly float in space.” Hypebeast, 2021

“What my work is most critical of is the inherent inclination toward pornographic (or at least porn-adjacent) representations of women throughout cyberspace. As our virtual selves become ever-more inextricable from our physical selves, I’m interested in how the preferences of the programmers are imposed on virtual female bodies within the largely male-dominated arena of software and technology.” Emma Stern, Cool Hunting, 2019

Emma Stern (b. 1992) lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. She holds a BFA from Pratt Institute’s School of Painting.

Recent solo shows include ‘Boy, It Feels Good To Be A Cowgirl’, Almine Rech, Paris (2021), ‘Revenge Body’, Carl Kostyál Gallery, London, ‘‘Slow Fade’, The Newsstand Project, Los Angeles (2020); ‘Works’, Jorge Andrew Gallery, Brooklyn, NY (2017); ‘Tabs’, Stream Gallery, Brooklyn, NY (2015). Stern has an upcoming solo show at Carl Kostyál, Stockholm in November 2021.

Recent group shows include ‘Stockholm Sessions’, Carl Kostyál, Stockholm (2021); ‘Resting Point of Accommodation’, Almine Rech, Brussels (2021); ‘The Artist is Online’, Konig Gallery, Berlin (2021); ‘Friend Zone’, Half Gallery, New York (2021); ‘06’, PM/AM, London (2020); ‘Escapism’, Meredith Rosen Gallery, New York (2020) and ‘American Woman’, Allouche Benias Gallery, Athens, Greece (2020).

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