Wynnie Mynerva, Sweet Castrator

LatchKey Gallery

May. 7, 2024 - Jun. 26, 2021

323 Canal Street
New York, 10019
PHONE 646.213.9070


presentation by Peruvian artist Wynnie Mynerva (they/them). Autobiographical in nature, the brutal themes found in the artist’s paintings are expressions of wrathful catharsis. Sweet Castrator will be on view from May 7 to June 19, 2021. An exhibition reception will take place on May 7 from 2-8 pm with a performance by the artist from 5:30-7:30 pm.

Sweet Castrator reveals personal narratives shrouded in alternative worlds that disrupt past traumas. Cathartic representations of empowerment, aggression and sexual liberation result in lascivious depictions of predator as prey. In A Matter of Luck, a tense game of roulette is shown by a knife tormenting a surreal hand—the fingers are formed of penises—whose luck has run out. Soaked in blood, the violent metaphor is juxtaposed by a soft, joyful palette.

The sexual trauma Mynerva experienced formed their personal identity; inevitably recognizing the self through the eyes of the other. Their lived pain and loathing collide with the desire to be released from these restraints. Through expansive and expressive gestures that bridge figuration with abstraction, beautiful spectacles of raw, uncompromising forms are liberated within a prism of pigments that reclaim the artist’s power and control.

This new freedom of self-definition runs parallel to the artist’s rebellion against masculine authority. Mynerva’s classical training at the prestigious San Marcos University and Bellas Artes in Lima, Peru left an indelible imprint. Maneuvering and manipulating their styles through the Western, male-centered Old Masters, Mynerva uses lively, erotic energy to rebel against the high-art tradition of the nude by subverting traditional gender binaries of male and female.

At the center of the exhibition, the artist recalls Artemisia Gentileschi’s painting Judith Beheading Holofernes. Mimicking the emotional exuberance of the subject matter with the raw velocity of Mynerva’s gestures, Story of Rengence forces the viewer to surrender to the visceral power and encompassing scale of the painting.

Throughout the exhibition, the viewer is confronted with images of duality: pain, power, hardness and softness, disgust and humor. The artist’s pictorial language slowly reveals the autobiographical truth of generational pain that male violence has inflicted through their domination of the world.

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