ILONA SZWARC: VIRGIN SOAP
SEPTEMBER 4 – OCTOBER 9, 2021
Diane Rosenstein Gallery is pleased to announce Virgin Soap — a solo exhibition of photographs and sculpture by Ilona Szwarc. In this new body of work, the Polish American artist documents herself casting a model’s torso in silicone and plaster. The model lies prone on a table, her breasts exposed, classically posed against an electric blue backdrop. A perverse tutorial proceeds: Szwarc stands behind the model, a presence at once intimate and coercive. The artist binds her subject’s breasts with laces to measure them, then covers the model’s breasts, shoulders, and mouth in green silicone.
As a female artist with a focus on self-portraiture, Ilona Szwarc draws on her ongoing fascination with doppelgängers. She explores themes of identity, transformation, and the dopplegänger – an inquiry rooted in her immigrant experience. Szwarc’s work is concerned with rendering her experience visible in a way impossible in language. Here, the artist plays Pygmalion, unsure where the boundary lies between the real and the fake.