For VOLTA NY 2014, Sonia Shiel presents new paintings and sculpture.
Shiel’s work pitches mankind’s mighty and small aspirations for a better world, against their odds. Through comedic devices it also explores its own artifice and the propensity of ‘art’ to be effective in the real world. Eschewing ‘big’ ideas, this work lampoons myth; economic, social and art history; psychosexuality and fantasy; moral and political philosophy and propagandist pulp.
In recent work, paintings and sculptures are contracted together by innuendo where idyllic scenes of industry, nature and society are underscored with a perverse violence usually associated with cartoons. The inconspicuousness of ‘painting-on,’ allows her to caricature the epic, setting the human and artistic dilemma of everyday scenarios with elaborate costumes and role play, benign weaponry, subversion and inflammation of power and caricatures of virtue and vice, hero and villain.