Philly artist's tiny, tribute caskets for famous and infamous to 'wow' Florida
Philly atitist E. Sherman Hayman shatters death fears and exalts inevitable mortality with her minature coffins created for larger-than-life dead personalities, at Lake Eustis Museum of Art, Eustis, FL, opening Sept. 30, through Oct. 30.
By: Susan Loden Lake Eustis Museum of Art
Thanatos to Eros: E. Sherman Hayman & Julie Mardin, opens with artist talks Sept. 30, 2011 at Lake Eustis Museum of Art in Eustis, Fla. Mardin, of New York City, joins Hayman with photographs of her original assemblages featuring cultural symbols and archetypes of seduction, war and commercialism. Together they explore the reversal of fortune between death and seduction over the centuries, with each of life’s inevitabilities cast as a social taboo by one generation only to be elevated to a cult obsession by another.
Hayman’s exquisitely crafted, tiny memento-embellished coffins, with respect, grace and humor, profoundly connect life to death. “In Western cultures today, we’re out of touch with the process of death and dying,” Hayman says. “Indeed, death is the ‘new’ sex, with death treated in the 20th and 21st centuries much as sex was in the 19th century.”
“E. Sherman Hayman, alumni of the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art, beautifully breaks our silence on death and dying,” says LEMA Executive Director Susan Loden. “Everyone who has seen her work, which includes some wall pieces of grave markers and old tomb carvings, is enchanted and intrigued. There is no sense of the morbid. She definitely shatters death taboos, to the degree that Harden/Pauli Funeral Home, of Eustis, is sponsor of the exhibit.”
Mardin places battle-weary toy soldiers in snow globes and candy boxes to be caressed seductively by a gloved hand for her photos as a counterpoint to our cultural obsessions of today. She attempts to recast the roles in 21st century relationships.
“The objects I use have distinctly womb-like or phallic undertones: elegant gloves, veils and film noir lighting juxtaposed with the colorful, somewhat sensuous candy boxes,” Mardin says. “There’s a hint of a kiss or romantic longing, pointing to an underlying need for warmth and nurturing. I started out using sex as depicted in today’s crass marketing, but ended up pointing to authentic yearning where just beyond the surface there is the seed for all life, Eros.”
The exhibit closes Oct. 30 at 200 B East Orange Ave., Eustis. See LakeEustisMuseumofArt.org for more information.
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Lake Eustis Museum of Art, Lake County Florida's only art museum, offers unique fine art exhibits, opportunities and programs to an international audience.