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Helle Mardahl, The Largest Possible Audience

LaViolaBank Gallery
179 East Broadway, 917-463-3901
East Village / Lower East Side
April 29 - May 30, 2009
Reception: Wednesday, April 29, 6 - 9 PM
Web Site

The Largest Possible Audience is wanted!

Helle Mardahl’s imposing characters confront the viewer with the desire to be accepted in a world where materialism is mistaken for love.

Heads, hands, and fingers pop out from everywhere, tinting the characters with an absurdity that tilts our perspective. Despite their fragmented bodies they all seem to shoulder the weight of the world. Morals, ethics and integrity suffer; illusions dissolve – balance has been corrupted.

Mardahl’s graphic and organic signature style combines a multitude of artistic techniques. Her remarkable visual acuity references her background as a fashion designer and the extraordinary level of details encompasses a complex network of political and socio-critical themes. Her staged photographs melt together drawn, painted, printed and sewn features, blurring our perception of the real and the fake.

A fat woman desperately clings on to her man as he tries to escape. An anorexic female torso covers her private parts. A dog looks smug and filled with authority and a tiny man strives to regain his personal equilibrium through statements of power. Their audience crowds around them.

The work confronts an increasing human demand of status symbols in a world where diamonds, teddy bears and jewelry are confused with love, status and attention. The overwhelming excess in Mardahl’s works pinpoints a consumer culture out of control and its impact on contemporary society.

The Largest Possible Audience consists of a series of individual works that, when combined, become a single coherent installation. The exhibition includes paintings, drawings, three-dimensional collages, photo-collages, prints, and sculptures. The Largest Audience Possible is Helle Mardahl’s first solo exhibition in New York.

Helle Mardahl (born 1976) is educated in fashion design from Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design, London. She lives and work in Copenhagen, Denmark.
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