In this exhibition Micaela de Vivero, who grew up in Quito, Ecuador, uses gold in the form of gold leaf and its associations with European colonization and exploitation of the Americas, as well as the current significance of gold in our current highly capitalist world. Gold was extracted from the American colonies, while natives were put into slavery for its extraction, and it unleashed a cycle of greed which in many ways tainted the relationship between colonizer and colonized, developing into the serious issues of inequality our world is facing today.
Joy Sperling about Micaela de Vivero
Micaela de Vivero was born in Munich, Germany and grew up in Quito, Ecuador. She graduated from the Universidad San Francisco de Quito and received an M.F.A. from Alfred University in New York. She now lives, teaches, and has an art practice in the United States. She travels globally to work and exhibit her sculpture, in part to fulfil a commitment to making transcultural artistic connections that are foundational to her intellectual artistic practice. (…)
Micaela de Vivero frequently makes allusions to traditional women’s crafts of knotting, sewing, weaving, knitting, or crocheting in her work—in direct contrast to the more common (masculine) practices and materials of casting, carving, or heavy construction with bronze, iron, or steel of traditional western or Modernist sculpture. The active use of intersectionality and “sliding signifiers” in her work place Vivero at the very heart of today’s art discourse. Her work has the power to communicate and to move viewers so strongly because she speaks with and through her visual imagery, not despite it. The power of visual art is that it can communicate multiple complex, multivalent, subtle meanings and concepts with an incredible economy of means through a seemingly simple object or image. Micaela de Vivero’s work has this kind of visual and intellectual complexity. Her sculptures can be both haunting and achingly poignant. And at times they can take your breath away.
Micaela de Vivero is Associate Professor of Studio Art at Denison University in Granville, Ohio, USA. She got her BA from Universidad San Francisco de Quito, Ecuador and MFA from Alfred University, Alfred, NY, USA. She has done 12 artist residencies mostly abroad, and recently returned from an artist residency at Petra Air in Kavala, Greece. She has exhibited her artwork in Ecuador, Colombia, Brazil, Argentina, the USA, Canada, Ireland, Finland, Austria, Spain, Bulgaria, France, Portugal, Greece and Armenia.
Joy Sperling is professor emerita of Art History and Visual Culture at Denison University. She is currently finishing a book on women artists in the American Southwest 1910 – 950. But most recently, she has written on women sculptors for Hyperallergic, Art Critical, and for the Figge Museum, IA.