Search our Calendar of Events

Find The Fun

Everything NYC
Be in the know with City Guide

Event Details

This event has already taken place. View the Latest Events

Trish Tillman, 'Grooming Kit'

Asya Geisberg Gallery
Apr 26 Through May 25 | Fri | 6pm | FREE
Buy Tickets
Learn More
Looking for things to do in NYC? Get our free email with 8 can't-miss city events every week Sign-up Here

Asya Geisberg Gallery is pleased to present “Grooming Kit,” Trish Tillman’s fourth solo exhibition with the gallery and her first at the gallery’s new space at 45 White Street. With “Grooming Kit,” Tillman continues her interest in the intersection of the body, design, and furnishings, with her meticulously crafted modular wall sculptures. Using digital and industrial sewing and upholstery techniques, and hand-drawn patterns printed on leather, she expands her exploration of commercial materials and adds more personal references prevalent during her youth, from cartoons to toys and keychains. In Tillman’s latest series, disjointed body parts that could easily switch from breast to bum merge with iconic symbols of sweet innocence - from strawberries to unicorns - in a shorthand symbolic language akin to emoji or stickers.

The word “grooming” can have a dual meaning: one is something we do to ourselves, while the other is done to us. The exhibition explores the duality of actions, either benign or sinister. Tillman pairs childlike patterns and objects such as morphed cartoon characters with materials associated with rebellion, punk, and sexuality, such as vinyl, zippers, studs, and shiny metal accoutrements. Accordingly, the seemingly light and playful pieces have a dark undertone - as the artist explores shifts in power roles tied to the transition to adulthood and sexual exploration, consensual or less so.

The sculpture “Play Day” embodies youth, from the rainbow-painted nails in a peace sign to its “My Little Pony” shape. Tillman gives the figure little purple socks in a pattern she created of cartoon birds. The socks allude to children’s pajamas, an item of clothing that is both innocent and intimate. While there is a lightheartedness in the piece, a shoelace subtly dangles off the artwork, giving the sense that it could easily be undone, perhaps a metaphor for a delicate psychological balance. Meanwhile, “Nite Lite” shows a torso cinched in a corset and fishnet stockings. A phallic ceramic bottle based on an old apothecary item is painted the color of ceramic Siamese cats, placed to ward off evil spirits or unwanted touches. The symmetry and balance found in this piece and others relate to how traumatic events are often mixed with more positive emotions, counteracting confused feelings and giving a sense of control and self-empowerment. Through making the work for the exhibition, Tillman has moved through her own experiences. She says, “Focusing on what we choose to do with our experiences, rather than the trauma itself, can aid in how we create and shape our stories.”

The reassurance we seek as children can mask the complex and sometimes unwelcome reality inherent in how we grow; just as Tillman’s sculptures distill the active confusion of adolescence into a visual language of fluff and mettle, flounce and combat.

Venue: Asya Geisberg Gallery

45 White Street Map