SKIN LE FLEUR
Featuring work by Francheska Alcántara
Opens 2nd Friday, Feb 11, 6-9pm
Continues through Friday, March 4. All work will be available online for purchase as well as in-gallery.
GALLERY HOURS AFTER OPENING: THURS 5-8pm, SAT 1-5pm
Liggett Studio is a located at 314 S Kenosha, Tulsa, OK 74120
Skin Le Fleur is an art exhibition and site of exchange that recontextualizes and reclaims the histories of brown paper bags, Hispano cuaba soap, and organic elements like soil, flowers, leaves, and fruits. These works reflect on the racialized, colonial and social complexity that reverberates in the customs and dynamics of collective space within a Black diasporic subjectivity and imagination.
The name itself, Skin Le Fleur, is a play on words where literal interpretations are truncated, sliding in between English, Spanish and French. It derives from the phrase “A flor de piel” which cannot be literally translated into English, but its closest phrase would be “to wear one’s heart on one’s sleeve.” The exhibition is a rumination on complex emotions that aren’t rationalized at times but manifest visually onto surfaces that function as skins.
I have been exploring material accumulations and crystallization processes by submerging the works in ink-baths of soil, sugar, salt, and oil for weeks and months at a time then embroidering onto them. I have used the Hispano cuaba soap, a quintessential item in Caribbean households for washing clothes and the body, to build up surfaces in drawings and sculptures transforming it from its utilitarian use into powerful objects that defy their materiality and everydayness.
For instance, in the Fleur Cadenou series paper bags are displayed as pendants on velvet surfaces. Here, I draw inspiration from 19th-century Cameroonian military trophy-calabases where military men would attach bones and property from slain enemies onto calabashes. I envision these works to be spell-gatherers where the intention of harm is neutralized and captured in a shrine form.
As a whole, this work considers processes of accumulation and deterioration related to organic cycles where everyday materials are preserved and conjured into sacred capsules for collective memory.