This suite of 13 works is part of an ongoing portraiture project which Nyari introduced in 2017 with her first solo at the gallery, Geisha Ink. This new body of work continues to explore a central element of Nyari’s practice: intimate studies of self-identity and female empowerment through nude portraiture.
Artist’s reception on Thursday, March 1 from 6 to 8pm.
Among the many allegories we use to decipher life and relate to others, that of “having a thick skin” is one that resonates with most. It touches a visceral urge to fortify ourselves, to add a shield to our vulnerable body. Nyari’s series Valkyrie Ink portrays Eowyn, a young woman who endured a great deal of trauma since her childhood and who, in an act of rebellion irregardless of her desire for flight, from the age of 16 on adorned her body with an abundance of tattoos. Best understood as an audacious act of resistance, these did not only send a deliberate signal of strength to peers and predators, but reclaimed a body marked by the scars of self-inflicted cuts and a soul marked by abuse and mistreatment. The undulating lines, symbols, and words that cover her skin become an emblematic suit of armor.
Living and working in New York City, Reka Nyari’s practice spans from fashion and fine art photography and videography, to elaborate installation and performance pieces. Oscillating between mischievous eroticism and wistful splendor, her work employs and explores traditional ideals of beauty and gender to portray sexuality from a predominantly female perspective. Nyari embeds luscious and empowered bodies in luminous landscapes or against staged backdrops. Nudity, gesture, gaze, as well as objects become intrinsically linked to the feminine identity.