Curator to Curator: Carla Lobmier looks at the work of Rejin Leys
Both Rejin Leys and I are in the curious position of being co-Curators for the show Local Color, as well as participating artists. Looking at Leys’ work from this double point of view, I posed some questions to her about her practice. What are her thoughts about paper, the content of her work and artists who shaped her thinking? I knew that her relationship with paper would be complex. While she enjoys the variety and tactile qualities of paper, she is drawn to its “honesty”. Paper surfaces display history (marks and handling) and, to take it even further, Leys’ repurposed paper from books, for example, often prompts her drawing or weighs in with its own history. Images collected from these sources start Leys’ work, but change in meaning when extended through her drawing or join with other materials.
There is a thread of narrative in Leys’ work. She named Juan Sanchez and Clarissa Sligh as artists who influenced her when she became acquainted with each early in her career. Sanchez and Sligh use images to tell stories, but also gather found imagery that changes in their hands. Leys’ narratives are open-ended allowing the viewer to make the connections.
Her history of process and materials loops back when rejected work is made into new paper by Leys. Her art is one that mines history, but also communicates her present.
"Target Area," "Sequence of Symbols" and "Frequency Spectrum"
Rejin Leys is a Haitian-American mixed media artist. Her works-on-paper are inspired by a mixture of social issues, science fiction, dreams and found objects and imagery. A graduate of Parsons School of Design and Brooklyn College, she recieved a NYFA Fellowship in 1995 and has shown her work in museums and galleries internationally.
See more of her work on her tumblr: http://rejinleys.com/