Stephanie Hirsch “I’d Rather Die On My Feet Than Live on My Knees” at Lyons Wier Gallery
Through her use of beads, sequins and embroidery, Hirsch’s canvases are literally ‘illuminated’ with phrases of enlightenment and hope. Continuing her personal investigations into individual development through text, Hirsch ups the ante by removing the “easy access” of familiar graphic elements inspired by iconic punk-rock album covers and adding a recognizable figurative element. The use of the figurative element humanizes her compositions and is based upon self-portraits driven by her fascination on the whole social media “selfie” craze. Wanting to delve deeper into how “selfies” create an image of how we want to be portrayed in the world rather than who we actually are, she shot her “selfies” while saying and feeling the emotional content in the compositions. Hirsch states, “I was also inspired by Cindy Sherman’s work titled ‘Aging Socialite.’ Sherman perfectly executed the daunting look in the eyes that spoke of insecurity and fear of a life no longer lived. My fear of just existing while living promoted my ‘selfie’ study as well. I am also profoundly influenced by Barbara Kruger whose text based work questions autonomy and desire, which I yearn and struggle for within myself.”
The journey of how Hirsch struggles with her external and internal self creates a unique entry point for the artwork. The viewer can identify and reflect upon their own personal experiences by simply reading the words and connecting with the visage. This simple, yet profound shift creates the intimate and introspective underpinning to the work allowing the viewer to oscillate between the beauty of the materials and the message implied. Using insights like “I’d Rather Die on My Feet than Live on My Knees,” “I Was Not Built to Break,” “We All Find Our Way,” and “It’s Never Too Late,” Hirsch weaves a story of overcoming one’s personal adversity and building an inner spirituality that hopefully filters out into the world.
Stephanie Hirsch has shown in exhibitions in New York, the Hamptons, Miami and San Francisco. She was a featured artist in Miami Design District’s Art Walk (2012) and showcased in the Mercedes Benz VIP lounge at Lincoln Center during New York Fashion Week (2012). Hirsch was among 30 artists commissioned to create a unique commemorative crown for display in Harrods (London) in celebration of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee (2012). Hirsch is the founder of Inca resort wear and author of “Mother Nurture,” published by William Morrow (2008). She lives and works in New York City.
November 14 – December 14, 2013
Thursday, November 14th, 2013
6 – 8:30pm
LYONS WIER GALLERY
542 West 24th Street, New York, 10011
Tel: +1 212 242 6220