On view through February 17
JTT is pleased to present an exhibition of paintings by New York-based artist Tamara Santibañez (b. 1987, Atlanta, GA). Collectively titled Landscapes, these grayscale paintings depict the supple folds and sensuous undulations of leather garments. Magnified creases, peaks and puckers conspicuously evoke bodily forms and, at the same time, underscore the absence of the wearer. In effect, the abstraction of these biomorphic forms precludes associations with identity or gender, and serves to complicate our conventional associations with desire.
Articulated with a devout sensibility, Santibañez leather paintings call to mind subcultures that have been historically codified as deviant. In the United States, communities around leather, BDSM, and other non-normative sex practices sprung up in the fifties and sixties in urban centers as a reaction to social repression. Moreover, queer women who formed their own communities were rejected by the gay leather scene and by factions of feminism who accused BDSM of replicating structures of oppression. Santibañez’s attention to these subcultures is located in their capacity to undermine oppressive power structures and in doing so, open up new avenues of empowerment and agency.