Patrice Aphrodite Helmar: Feeling Good About Me
February 9 - April 28th, 2019
Opening Reception: February 9, 6:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Ortega y Gasset Projects is pleased to present Feeling Good About Me, a site-specific installation in The Skirt by Patrice Aphrodite Helmar. There is a reception for the artist on Saturday, February 9th, from 6-9pm in conjunction with the reception for Carl Hazlewood’s show in the main exhibition space. Feeling Good About Me runs until Sunday, April 28th.
Originally from Alaska, Helmar grew up within a small frontier community where the local bar was the essential site of initiation and belonging. In Feeling Good About Me (her second solo exhibition in New York since earning her MFA from Columbia University in 2015) Helmar incorporates her black-and-white photographs with found objects and installation. Together, these elements celebrate and question the notion of the local bar as a site of queer safety, revelry, escape, and resistance. Helmar’s portrait photographs evoke the demimonde of the cities in which they are shot: Paris, New Orleans, and Juneau, Alaska. Hung above an installation of wood paneling in The Skirt, the feel of a traditional working-class barroom is conjured. A shelf acts as a symbolic barroom counter, complete with a mirror where viewers can both look at themselves and watch the door behind them. A 1950’s coin operated jukebox contains 45’s selected by Helmar as a soundtrack to the photographs.
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Patrice Aphrodite Helmar (b. 1981, Juneau, Alaska) is an artist and curator who lives and works in Queens, NY. She is a graduate of Columbia University's Visual Arts MFA program, and has been a Visiting Professor at Columbia University, Pratt Institute, Rutgers University, and Fordham. Helmar's work has appeared internationally, including at the Jewish Museum, National Museum of Iceland, Gaa Gallery, Paper Machine in New Orleans, Houston Center for Photography, IRL Gallery in Los Angeles, and the Alaska State Museum. In the spring of 2019, Antenna Gallery will publish a portfolio of Helmar’s work made while in residence in New Orleans. In 2016, she founded and continues to curate the Marble Hill Camera and Supper Club. The Camera Club is an ongoing discussion with photographers, and artists using photography in their work modeled after queer family skillshare workshops.