Yael Malka : Coveted

Yael Malka is a member of one of the super hardworking New York collective, TGIF Gallery. Whether it is making personal work, organizing various collaborative efforts with other artists, or commercial work – Malka and the rest of TGIF Gallery consistently put out work at an enviable pace.

Malka’s series – “Coveted” is a sequence of still lives that subvert familiar, ambiguously feminine objects, into loaded narrative symbols:

Our culture is one of excess and ostentation; we are taught to covet. Anything desirable often turns undesirable. We are unaware of the artifice within objects or situations and this is part of what I am investigating. By re-contextualizing these loaded icons, the familiar becomes estranged. The best way to explore this curiosity about the value of objects is through fetishism.

Turning to Dutch still lives and contemporary advertisement for inspiration, they better helped me understand the devaluing of objects. The luxurious and desirable items that were depicted in these paintings represented wealth, which ties to a current cultural need to constantly consume. Through creating my own visual language, this work examines things we should question about what our culture is embracing. By using gender roles, sexuality and feminine ideals along with a playful sensibility, these pleasurable or cute icons transform into something grotesque and disturbing.