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Carmen Einfinger, The Boarding School

Broadway Gallery
473 Broadway, 7th Floor, 212-274-8993
June 16 - June 30, 2006
Reception: Friday, June 16, 6 - 8 PM
Web Site

Bright, colorful and generous: Carmen Einfinger’s large scale paintings cover the walls, conquer the third dimension and fill the space. It is more the cheerful array of her colors, the tropical abundance and the fairytale-like display of her subjects, that renounce chronology and break the common spatial concepts, that let the viewer think of her as a Brazilian artist. British-born Carmen Einfinger, with Dutch and Croatian parents could be called a cosmopolite. She grew up in Brazil and was educated in Greece, Great Britain, Canada and the US: the wider the choices the greater the places to be called “home”. And to grow up in a boarding school doesn’t make the decision easier.

The series of works dedicated to the boarding school reconstruct her childhood in Brazil. The urge to tell stories in the form of paintings that are not limited to paint but use writing (in the early years) and all kinds of fabric, clothes and sewing techniques may be seen as the attempt to reassure herself of her own identity. And this identity as a Brazilian artist turns out to be multiple in every way: it includes the mother-like figure of the hospice nurse, nurturing, promising oversized bras, babies and clean diapers; Einfinger’s self-confident teenage school companions; the flourishing nature of the Brazilian jungle close to the Atlantic Ocean; the fortunetelling magician; and the dream of reconciliation by the divorced couple in the film of her childhood, “The parent trap”. The result is a magic realism that makes it difficult to distinguish paint from fabric, the real material from the painted reality. The viewer dives into this colorful tropical world where the chronology of the storyboard is immediately dissolved by the spinning around of the protagonists in one piece, and the equal lining up of the protagonists in the next work, showing each individual as the protagonist. It is a rich world which the Brazilian Girl represents in the boarding school series, a world that compensates for the sense of abandonment of the child with the praise of abundant diversity.
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