Galleria Patricia Armocida presented Grasswidow, the second solo show by Bianca Casady, the eccentric and transversal American poetess and one-half of the duo Cocorosie, that opened on Tuesday, February 7, 2012. The artist returned, three years after her last exhibit, with fifty works including drawings, collages and photographs and one video.
Bianca Casady, a self-proclaimed “writer more than anything”, believes her prose takes its shape as naturally in visual forms as it does in lyrics. As always, in many of her works, words accompany drawings: visionary poems, decadent images floating on covers of burnt books, wax drippings on tarot cards, simulacra of an otherworldly power, evocations of magical rituals.
The seriousness of antique anatomy book drawings is toned down by kitschy elements such as locks of hair, colored feathers, glitter, and shiny dolphin stickers. Bianca states: "I like to offset the antique with the modern and grotesque nature of plastic”. In her artificial paradise of unicorns and rainbows, the artist enjoys intermixing swastikas, stars of David, and Camargue crosses all together in the same playground, thus taking away the power of these historic, religious, and political symbols and restoring their original value.
In previous works, the presence of the burka denounced homophobia in Iran, in these new works it is worn by men and women alike in order to reach a state of prejudice-free androgyny. She herself attempts to break the boundaries of gender through her personifications, by playing with the male/female dichotomy, her kaleidoscopic personality seems to inhabit different bodies and eras at the same time. Transformation is part of her process: “The art of transforming oneself is the first step toward a new light”.
Throughout the years, Bianca has created all of the videos and clothing for Cocorosie’s performances: an assortment of fabrics, remnants, a paradoxical fusion of pop and Victorian costumes and wigs, gothic and ritual make-up. Her photographs depict her mother and companion cross-dressed and transfigured into her alter egos, she paints over them transforming them into another actor, vehicle and narrator of her childhood enchantment.
This new body of work also touched on loneliness and isolation, it explores the universe of possibilities by which we feel imprisoned: our gender, our race, our culture. The term “grass widow” refers to a woman whose husband is often away for long periods of time; for the artist this term embodies a broader meaning: Grasswidow is someone who is a state of waiting, awaiting happiness, caught in a temporary state of mourning which never leaves, the "perpetual temporary".
Bianca Casady (born 1982 Hilo, Hawaii) lives in Paris and New York City. Equally prone to expressing her thoughts and stories in music, poetry, prose, fashion, drawings, and sculpture, Bianca ‘Coco’ Casady is a wholistic artist.
She has exhibited internationally at The Sunday Issue Gallery in Tokyo, Deitch Projects in New York, Galleria Patricia Armocida in Milan, Art Basel in Florida, the Bozar Center for the Fine Arts in Belgium, and the Moscow Biennale. In 2012 Bianca will have a solo exhibition at Cheim and Read in New York. Her work was also featured in an exhibition at the Wall House in the Netherlands, which resulted from a month-long invitational artist residency in Groningen.
In 2003, Bianca ‘Coco’ reunited with her sister, Sierra ‘Rose’, both born and raised in various states throughout the United States. What evolved was CocoRosie, an ongoing innovative collaboration in music, poetry, and performance that draws on a shared migratory childhood infused with creative and anti-institutional encouragement. This dynamic sibling project has released four albums, toured internationally, and performed at numerous prominent international music festivals. CocoRosie delivers artful performances, which often incorporate Bianca’s video art. In 2005, along with Militia Shimkovitz, she opened her own record label, Voodoo-EROS Records. The following year she founded and also curated an alternative exhibition space in Manhattan’s Lower East Side, The Museum of Nice Items. Most recently, she opened Mad Vicky’s Tea Gallery, in Paris. Drawn to gatherings and collaboration, Bianca has also hosted informal fashion shows, artist salons, book clubs, and poetry readings over the years and taught poetry to teens in New York City.
Selected Solo Exhibitions: Daisy Chain, Cheim and Read Gallery, New York, 2012; Grasswidow, Galleria Patricia Armocida, Milano, 2012; Hood Lum, Sunday Issue Gallery, Tokyo, 2011; Swamp Candle, Capricious Gallery, New York, 2010; Wall House, Groningen, 2008; Le combat spiritual, Galleria Patricia Armocida, Milano, 2008; Deitch Projects, New York, 2007; Art Basel, Deitch Projects, Miami, 2007; Museum of Nice Items, New York, 2006.
Collective: Donau Festival, Krems, 2012; Moscow Biennale, Mosca, 2011; It's Not Only Rock and Roll Baby, Milano Triennale, Milano, 2010; It's Not Only Rock and Roll Baby, Bozar Center for the Fine Arts, Brussels, 2008.