Showering of Sparkling Bits
February 1 - March 15, 2024
Opening Reception : February 1, 4:30 - 7:30pm
Artist Talk : February 1, 6-7pm, Room 6304 and on
The Harold J. Miossi Art Gallery presents Showering of Sparkling Bits, an exploration of Cobi Moules' exhibition challenging conventional notions of the
queer body in nature and its representation within foundational spaces of American
identity. Moules navigates intersections of physicality, identity, and historical
American representation through a playful reimagination of the American landscape.
Drawing inspiration from 19th-century Hudson River School paintings, Moules employs queer signifiers, utilizing paint, silicone, glitter, and occasional hair to alter and reimagine these canonical images. The exhibition delves into the realms of queer materiality and the relationship between the queer body and the landscape, offering a reflection on physical presence, identity formation, and the impact of historical ideologies.
Moules critically engages with the destructive ideologies embedded in historical paintings by artists like Albert Bierstadt and Thomas Moran. The exhibition confronts these narratives and their enduring influence on contemporary social and political landscapes. The 1980s, a pivotal time in Moules's youth, serve as a backdrop, with horror films projecting the societal anxieties of the time.
The exhibition examines these formative works, unveiling new views of a landscape teeming with queer joy. Amorphous silicon bodies undulate over and around paintings, reframing and obscuring historical narratives while revealing reimagined spaces. The squishy silicone material, reminiscent of the 1980s film "The Blob," embodies a fleshy, liberating autonomy devoid of firm structure but rich in bodily specificity. Glitter and sparkling jockstraps strewn within the paintings signify the remnants of queer gatherings, transforming the landscape into a vibrant testament to the impact of these joyful expressions.
Showering of Sparkling Bits invites viewers to contemplate the possibilities within the questions raised by Moules: What does it mean to be a queer body in nature, and how can we challenge historical ideologies while rethinking our movement within foundational spaces of American identity? Join us in this thought-provoking journey through Moules' lens, sparking conversations about queerness, desire, and the reshaping of historical narratives.
Cobi Moules received a BFA from San Jose State University in 2004. In 2010, he received an MFA from The School of Museum of Fine Arts and Tufts University. His work has been exhibited at culturally significant institutions, including The Leslie Lohman Museum, The Minneapolis Institute of Art, the Jepson Center, The Museum of Fine Arts Boston, Crystal Bridges Museum, Ogunquit Museum of American Art, and Smack Mellon. Notable awards include the SMFA Traveling Fellowship, the Ruth and Harold Chenven Foundation Grant, and the Joan Mitchell MFA Grant. His work is in the collections of the Crystal Bridges Museum, Leslie Lohman Museum, RISD Museum, Cornell Fine Arts Museum, and 21c Museum. He has been an artist-in-resident at Bemis Center for Contemporary Art, Ucross Foundation, Kimmel Harding Nelson, Vermont Studio Center, and Space Gallery, among others. He currently lives and works in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.