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Sandra Cinto

Constructed Happiness

May 25 to June 26, 1999

Bonakdar Jancou Gallery is pleased to present “Constructed Happiness,” Sandra Cinto’s first one-person exhibition outside of Brazil.  Creating works of sculpture, painting, drawing and photography, Sandra Cinto dissolves the boundaries between fantasy and reality and dissolutes the limits of physical objects in the world of reality.   The predominant means employed to achieve this end is an exquisite style of drawing that incorporates repeated, surreal and dreamlike image-motifs.  These drawings may be presented as independent works, or applied to the surface of sculptural objects and walls as part of a larger installation, or photographed after being applied to parts of the artist’s body.  The artist’s sculptural objects are also culled from the realm of fantasy and memory, objects that are familiar yet fabricated with subtle alterations and loaded with psychological resonance.

Created with specific attention to the gallery’s architecture, “Constructed Happiness” consists of three sequential environments, each corresponding to a particular space in the gallery.   The gallery walls and the sculptural objects have been painted a single uniform color, described by the artist as  “something between a luminous, happy, light and hopeful color and one that reminds me of hunger, venom, delirium and death.” (Cinto)  Besides creating a single, limitless  canvas upon which the artist can draw, the scheme also suggests a movement outside of reality and into the membrane of an alternate realm of experience.

In the entrance area, the artist presents a single photograph that leads the visitor into the second gallery.  This second space contains only a small wooden cabinet in addition to wall drawings that nearly envelop the room.  Drawings of forests, gallows, knives, cliffs, lamps, swings and ladders among other motifs continue from the wall to the cabinet and back to the wall, inviting our consciousness to cross the mirror that divides reality and imagination.   Like camouflage, the object blends into the wall behind it, twisting the relationship between figure and ground just as objects in dreams and memories defy form and definition.

The main gallery space contains four independent elements.   Cinto uses the skylight to suggest an exit, or transformation of reality caused by movement.  A photograph in two parts, a self-portrait, is mounted beneath curved glass that the artist has drawn directly upon.  A wooden platform comes out from the wall and stands precariously upon three legs, as if physically caught between worlds, its surface covered by drawings that continue onto the wall and reach toward the skylight opening in the ceiling.  A tub containing drawings submerged in water (a natural element that alludes to ritual and regeneration) stands alone on the floor.  Nearby, a windmill spins slowly, referencing the power of creation and invention.

Sandra Cinto participated in XXIV Bienal de Sao Paulo last year.  Currently, her work is featured in “Collectors Collect Contemporary: 1990-1999,” at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston; and “Contemporary Collectors,” at the Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego.