Reva Castillenti is a Brooklyn-based artist who creates gruesome textile sculptures that focus on the gritty, physical side life. Creating works out of numerous materials such as stockings, canvas, paint and other tools she has made numerous deformed, grotesque works which have caused discomfort to all who see them. I found this artist by accident as I was researching Marc Quinn last week, and through an exhibition advert on Facebook. I find a lot of her work very interesting in the way she makes works that would normally be rather graphic, but through her use of colour and materials it’s almost like she’s kept the gore but lost the horror.
There is a certain humor and burlesque nature to Castillenti’s subjects. In her “Public Privates” series there is a collection of larger-than-life body parts re-imagined from popular culture. Many of the stories surrounding the folklore of these detached or malformed body parts are familiar to our collective consciousness whether taboo, comical, or even disturbing. John Bobbit’s cut off penis, Michael Jackson’s repeated nose jobs, JFK’s fragmented skull, Nancy Kerrigan’s swollen and bruised knee, and Tom Green’s cancerous testical: now enshrined in absurdity alluding to new aspects of existence, creating a fusion of realms normally perceived as separate.
The intersection of intensity and intimacy of the abject are profound in Reva Castillenti’s sculptures. Her narratives focus on loss of identity, distortion of reality, and deconstruction of personality with the intent that the viewer experience empathy through the noted effects of sociological desires, consumer culture, and disruption of interpersonal relationships.