of luck good and bad from around the world are the focus of
paintings and sculpture by Claudia De Monte in an exhibition
entitled La Forza del Destino (the power of fate) that opens
at the June Kelly Gallery on Thursday, April 10. The work will
remain on view through May 13.
has traveled the globe to such far-flung destinations as Bhutan,
Laos, Saudi Arabia, Senegal and Tibet to observe cultures, customs
and idiosyncrasies. La Forza del Destino, she says,
examines icons that represent luck, superstition, and protection
from the evils of the world in many of the places she has visited.
uses a female form sculpted from wood and laden with pictographic
configurations suggestive of luck and charms of protection to
demonstrate both her continued interest in women’s multifaceted
roles and impact as the storytellers, historians and mythological
controllers of destiny and just how integral La Forza del Destino
is to daily existence for many cultures.
says growing up Italian, in Queens, the most ethnically diverse
county in America, surrounded by good luck amulets and symbols from
numerous cultures, informed her of the prevailing beliefs and solid
reliance on symbols of luck and protection: Mal’occhhio; Il Corno;
Hamsa; many numbers – 3, 8, 11, 7, animals and their parts – the
turtle, butterfly, lady bug, an elephant with its trunk up, a
horseshoe or a rabbit's foot. All are believed to be true
predictors and controllers of one’s destiny.
DeMonte’s work transforms historically based concepts into personal
iconography that she says still “controls the every move” of many
lives and works in New York City and Kent, Connecticut. She
received a bachelor's degree from College of Notre Dame of Maryland
in Baltimore and an MFA from Catholic University of America,
DeMonte's work has been shown in numerous solo and group exhibitions
nationally and throughout the world. The many public and
private collections in which she is represented include the Brooklyn
Museum, New York; Bass Museum, Miami, FL; New Orleans Museum of Art;
Corcoran School of Art, Washington, DC; Flint Institute of Art, MI;
Indianapolis Museum of Art; Mississippi Museum of Art, Jackson;
Portland Museum of Art, ME; University of Maryland, College Park;
Contemporary Art Museum, Villa Rufolo, Ravello, Italy; Warsaw Museum
of Modern Art, Poland, and the University of Oldenburg, Germany.