WEST Austin Pop-Up featuring Yuliya Lanina, CheriCo (Nick Schnitzer & Sarah Presson) & Andrea Flores

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Polyglot Gallery invites the public to a special exhibition in conjunction with the WEST Austin Studio Tour which happens at different locations around West Austin on the weekends of May 10-11 and May 17-18.  Two exhibitions will be on display at the Polyglot Gallery pop-up space on South 2nd Street, these are: Load by CheriCo (the new collaborative project consisting of Nick Schnitzer and Sarah Presson) and Animate by Yuliya Lanina.  There will also be small paintings by Chilean artist, Andrea Flores.

CheriCo artists Schnitzer and Presson met in 2012 and soon found themselves in an intimate relationship.  As sentimental partners they traveled together to India in 2013.  As with any artist who travels they each came away from the intensity of their experience in this vastly different culture with their own observations and interpretations.  The one overarching theme they both noticed was the observation of people carrying impossibly large and shockingly heavy loads either on foot or perched precariously on their antiquated and cumbersome forms of transit, i.e. bikes, rickshaws and animal drawn carts.  Upon returning home, their sense of exotic bewilderment offered an acutely fresh look at their own tendencies to carry, consume, and compensate.  This current body of work is Presson and Schnitzer’s first artistic duet.  The work explores literal weight bearing, allegorical balancing acts, and archetypal harmonies.

Yuliya Lanina is a Russian- born American multimedia artist. Her paintings, animations and animatronic sculptures portray alternate realities that fuse fantasy, femininity, and humor. Employing surreal imagery to simultaneously elicit feelings of uneasiness and empathy, Lanina paints and collages bizarre characters that come to life through mechanization, animation, and music. Laninaʼs characters, mostly female in gender, are made of parts that are not supposed to go together. They act out absurd situations in a somewhat blasé, carefree and humorous manner. These characters are the artistʼs own projections of nonsensical events and their consequences. Their malformed features and parts illustrate internalized trauma and torment while still engaging in the life-affirming celebration of feminine power and its connection to the mysterious, the beautiful, and the sensual.  Lanina draws from many sources to create these characters. Though she often taps into Greek mythology with the half-human and half-animal demigods, she also relies on her personal roots with Russian fairy tales, which are filled with fantastic beings deeply rooted in paganism, mysticism, and symbolism. Her creatures and their stories move freely between logical and illogical, realistic and illusory, predictable and surprising, representing life that can only be lived, but never understood.

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