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Artist Suzy Kellems Dominik’s ‘Beatrice: To Hell And Back’ is a Must-See
A nod to the timeless works of Dante Alighieri, Beatrice tells a tale of audacious love through a multi-sensory installation encompassing photography, fine art, sculpture, mixed media, music, poetry and spoken word. It is a heightened gallery experience that puts the viewer alongside the artist in a battle for identity and self-fulfillment.
Kellems Dominik tells an emotional autobiography on the gallery walls as a multi-layered soundtrack leads you through Beatrice’s rise to freedom. Each image is a contemporary antique, a moment of raw emotion captured with meticulous composition and paired with Dante’s impassioned words.
The centerpiece of the exhibition is Beatrice herself, who stands victorious atop a neo-pop impression of the 9 circles of Hell. The gold and silver-clad sculptural goat takes on the artist’s eyes, which Kellems Dominik says is monumental in conveying to her audience the personal significance of Beatrice.
“By putting myself out there both emotionally and creatively, I’m able to better connect,” says Kellems Dominik. “It’s personal and impersonal. The story is mine to tell, but the experience is yours to have; that’s the beauty of art.”
Beatrice: To Hell And Back is the second body of work in a trio of installations deconstructing male-female interaction in the modern world. It is an extension of the seemingly overnight success of Bear Attack: The Urban Bear, Kellems Dominik’s first solo show presented by Onishi Project earlier this year. While Bear Attack glorifies the dangerous lure of romance, Beatrice uncovers the angst and unrest of perceived love gone awry.
Kellems Dominik’s uncanny ability to mirror a story in both her creative process and the external viewer experience sets her apart as not just an artist, but an artistic storyteller. It almost feels as if she’s forging her own genre, one that is essential to human condition.
“I feel that my work speaks to people,” Kellems Dominik says. “ It’s fundamental yet creative, and it reaches a vast demographic without being watered down.”
Beatrice: To Hell And Back was printed by Duggal Visual Solutions art consultant Hope Savvides and is on display at Onishi Gallery (521 W 26th St) through October 11.