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Justine Reyes
3/2004 to the Present
2004- , hand-crocheted panels, 18 to date, 72x96x144in (180x240x360cm)

A daily meditation, ongoing until the end of the US war in Iraq,

Installation view Havana Biennale, Cuba 2003

©Justine Reyes
image courtesy of {CTS} creativethriftshop
Justine Reyes
3/2004 to the Present
2004- , hand-crocheted panels, 18 to date, 72x96x144in (180x240x360cm)

A daily meditation, ongoing until the end of the US war in Iraq,

Installation view Mask, Jack the Pelican Present, Brooklyn, NY. 2006

©Justine Reyes
image courtesy of {CTS} creativethriftshop
 



JUSTINE REYES


Lives and works in New York

Born USA | 1977

Identity, history and time are the main subject matter explored in my work. A collective shift in perception has taken place since 9/11. We are living in a more global world then ever before and that forces many of us to reexamine our position in it. Not only our national identity but also how we view ourselves individually and the ways in which we relate to others has changed.

In Mask Series I raise questions that challenge western ideologies, norms and notions of freedom. In this work I blend the idea of the veil with the mask, both in terms of protection and aggression. I make reference to the burkha, ski-masks, gas masks, SARS masks, hazmat gear and fetish masks. The masks themselves are made out of material that is normally hidden under clothes, close to the body and private. Here they become exposed. In the installation tentatively titled 3-20-03 to Present I use the repetitive nature of crocheting to speak not only to the build up of time itself but also to the number of casualties and deaths amassed over time. During these times of war, terrorism, homeland security and global instability I have felt increasingly powerless, frustrated and deeply saddened. This has in large part brought me to my most current bodies of work many of which include my family, the idea of leaving and returning home, and the longing to hold on to things that are ephemeral and transitory in nature.

My Uncle Vinny, The Usual Suspects, Away From Home and What Remains are some examples of my work that demonstrate the power of objects to bear witness to invisible ideas and emotional truths and how our identities are shaped by our relationship to and our personal idea of home. These bodies of work employ the iconography and symbols of common everyday objects as a means of communicating shared experiences on both the global as well as a more personal and emotional level.