Gordon’s artistic talent radiates as she skillfully crafts paintings that blur the lines between surreal and hyper-realistic styles. Through her artwork, she masterfully portrays herself in anthropomorphic forms, delving deep into the intricate layers of her identity as a young, queer, Asian-American woman. In her latest collection, Gordon fearlessly explores uncharted territories by depicting herself in a captivating array of material manifestations. She deftly transmutes her physical attributes into animal, botanical, and geological features, pushing back against societal norms that marginalize unconventional human bodies.
One particular masterpiece captures Gordon as a living sculpture, meticulously adorned with a vibrant tapestry of foliage. The figure strikes a pose exuding confidence and dynamism, reminiscent of mythical deities. While maintaining modesty through strategic hand placements, another version of the artist emerges, playfully wielding oversized gardening tools in close proximity to the figure’s intimate area—a clever and cheeky allusion to lesbian sensuality. Through the absence of prescribed societal expectations and the use of naturalistic tones that accentuate her curves, Gordon celebrates the unique beauty of this alternative embodiment, effectively challenging conventional perceptions.
Sasha Gordon Princess, 2023. Oil on canvas 182.8 x 243.8cm
In a different artwork, Gordon undergoes a transformation, taking the form of a feline creature, as she delves into her evolving comprehension of queerness. Through anthropomorphism, the artist carefully dissects and gains insights from the intricate aspects of her psyche, using this imaginative perspective to untangle the intricacies of her own sexual identity.
Moreover, Gordon fearlessly challenges the pervasive misogyny and the unjust social stigma surrounding women’s emotions. In a society where male anger is often perceived as a symbol of strength or dominance, women expressing their anger are unfairly characterized as unstable or irrational. Rejecting such glaring double standards, the artist boldly asserts her right to unleash her fury, presenting herself as an erupting volcano. With determination etched on her face, she portrays herself brimming with emotions like molten lava, reclaiming and embracing the immense power and intensity of her own rage. In this striking portrayal, Gordon dismantles the barriers that seek to suppress and invalidate women’s anger, promoting a more equitable understanding and appreciation of female emotions.
By projecting herself into curious and dreamlike scenarios while dismantling entrenched notions of gender and sexuality, Gordon effectively upends the conventions of traditional figuration. Her art serves as a powerful conduit for introspection, inviting viewers to question preconceived ideas and challenge the status quo.
Sasha Gordon’s first solo exhibition in Europe at the Stephen Friedman Gallery is a profound testament to her artistic brilliance. Through her masterful fusion of mediums, layered narratives, and profound introspection, she invites viewers into a realm where the complexities of identity are explored and celebrated. Gordon’s ability to harmonize contrasting elements and her technical mastery highlight her position as a rising star in the contemporary art scene.
Her exhibition is a transformative experience, leaving a lasting impression on the viewer’s psyche. It challenges us to question our preconceived notions of self and identity, while simultaneously embracing the harmonious balance of opposing forces within us. Sasha Gordon’s European debut solidifies her place among the most compelling and thought-provoking voices in contemporary art today.
Sasha Gordon (b. 1998, Somers, New York) lives and works in New York. She graduated from The Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), Providence in 2020. Gordon is represented by Matthew Brown Gallery, Los Angeles. She is currently working towards her first institutional solo exhibition at Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami opening later this year.