“Cultural associations with animal trophies generally reinforce the idea that the animal is valued more in its death than in its life,” says artist Alessandra Exposito. Through sculpture and painting, Exposito mashes together symbols to generate animal monuments that are at once familiar and whimsically surreal. Americana often serves as a source for the artist, most evident in several three-dimensional series featuring animal skulls. Cats, horses, cows, mice and chickens have all acted as canvases for Exposito, as she embellishes the bones of each with glittering rhinestones, flamboyant pictorial narratives, and gothic lettering. Early bone-based works honor domestic pets—Kitty Bean, Tiger, Queenie—and contain both the name and image of the deceased beast. Exposito explores the moment after death, as she is conceptually interested in how we memorialize and remember, and in the iconography of mortality, such as skulls. Her work possesses a sense of nostalgia, often recalling the imagery of scrapbooks in the use of painted photographs and retro typefaces. Exposito has shown extensively in New York, including the Brooklyn Museum of Art and El Museo del Barrio, as well as across the US.
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