My work explores in a serio-comic way how mythology serves as a coping mechanism in angst-ridden times and how diverse cultures coexist symbiotically. It relates to feminism in its focus on domestic items such as clothespins.
Taking it a step further, I see the shape of the clothespin as an analogue for the human body. From this idea I have created the "Clothespin Freaks", anthropomorphic figures that are made of clear plastic clothespins, doll's body parts and sewn pieces.
In the Clothespin Freaks Portrait Gallery series, the mythical characters are hand-embroidered on oval-shaped fabric which is stuffed with polyester fiber. Each drawing, made with thread, portrays a particular freak (e.g.,"Peeper Seeker") next to a specific fragmented body part (e.g., an eye). The freaks, at once god-like and mischievous, can be seen as protectors of body parts and organs such a the windpipe, foot, kidney, etc., as well as predators of these same human fragments in a fractionalized distant and possibly biopolitical future.The numbers (e.g.,'16640-16750) embroidered at the bottom represent the lifespan of that freak. These portraits are both icon and memorial, bridging our desires (hopes) and losses (fears).
In the "Clothespin Tarot" series, which consists of watercolor and pencil drawings, the subversive "Clothespin Freaks" continue their mystic adventure in a post-technological milieu armed with darners and thimbles.
Artist Bio / CV
Catya Plate was born in Barcelona, Spain and grew up in Köln, Germany. She came to New York through a Fulbright Scholarship in 1987.
In 1996 she received an Artist in the Marketplace award from the Bronx Museum of the Arts and in 2008 her work was selected for permanent inclusion in the Art Base of the Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art at the Brooklyn Museum.
Her work has been included in exhibitions at The Bronx Museum, Islip Art Museum, Hunterdon Museum of Art and Whitney Museum of American Art at Altria. Her solo shows include The Center for Book Arts, the Robert V. Fullerton Art Museum, Art Resources Transfer, Goethe Institut and Galerie Elten & Elten in Zürich, Switzerland. Her art is held in numerous private and public collections including the Brooklyn Museum, the Museum of Modern Art Library, and the New York Public Library.
Plate's exhibition and installation projects have been written about in The New York Times; The New York Sun; NY Arts Magazine; Neue Zürcher Zeitung; The Standard Times; The Independent and LA Weekly.
2010Center for Book Arts, "Clothespin Tarot", NY
2009Y Gallery, "Tiny Messengers", NY
2004 Galerie Elten & Elten, Zuerich
2003 Robert V. Fullerton Art Museum, "ESP", CA
2009Center for Book Arts, "Threads", NY
2007 Hunterdon Museum of Art, "INNER CHILD", NY
* Islip Art Museum, "FREE PLAY", NY
* Whitney Museum of American Art at Altria, "DREAMS & POSSIBILITIES", NY
2004 Adam Baumgold Gallery, "UNTOLD TALES", NY
2002 New Bedford Art Museum, "VAULT SERIES VII: UNIQUE PRINTS"
2001 Lance Fung Gallery, "…BUT FEAR ITSELF", NY
1997 The Bronx Museum of the Arts, "17th ARTIST IN THE MARKETPLACE"
* AIM (Artist in the Marketplace) Award, 1996.
* Fulbright Scholarship. 1987-89.
* Brooklyn Museum.
* The Museum of Modern Art Library.
* Judith A. Hoffberg, "Clothespin Tarot", Umbrella Online, June 2007.
Ken Johnson, "Five Solo Shows", The New York Times, Art in Review, July 18, 2003.
* School of Visual Arts, Fine Arts Dept., NY. 1987-88.
* Werkkunstschule Koeln, Fine Arts Dept.,Germany. B.F.A. 1987.