Katya Usvitsky

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Mama (front and side view)   //   nylon & fiber fil   //   27” x 18” x 21” deep   //   2011

This is a piece by artist Katya Usvitsky. Her artist statement is here:

     This project was conceived from an internal conversation about femininity, motherhood,     identity and expectations which I find myself having as a woman and as an artist.

I began the process by exploring the possibilities of using mundane materials and creating something extraordinary, challenging not only myself but the viewers conventions about art. I was drawn to the dually charged nature of women’s nylons, which can be seen as both utilitarian or rather sexy. The challenges came from my ability to transform simple nylons in a way that retained their original meaning while elevating them to a level worthy of a conversation. By creating abstracted forms that are at the same time grotesque, but also soft and comforting I am exploring the topic through the emotions the work evokes in the viewer.

The question is, are we looking at a cluster of eggs, a nest or an enlarged cell? Although the pieces are reminiscent of the comforts of a womb, they are paradoxically created by twisting, wrenching, and deforming a nylon stocking into something that resists its attempts to restrain and normalize the body. This work transforms the suggestive material of women’s undergarments to challenge societal standards of femininity and the idea of the female body
as a vessel for reproduction.

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