Julien Tomasello MFA, MAT
We all strive to find ourselves mirrored in the mediated images that create our everyday, modern world. This mirroring helps establish our own place and identity within society, and brings validation to whom we perceive ourselves to be. For most, this validation begins at an early age. For others, whose identities are not readily projected back from mainstream society due to such factors as race, religion, sexual orientation, or gender identification, the attempts to find those mirrored images become a frustrating and even painful process.
The Re-Mixes is a sculptural series that examines my own search for self-identity, and at times, my own desire for acceptance, transcendence, and transformation. Mixing together narratives from mythology and literature with those of personal icons from contemporary culture, I strive to create my own signs and symbols of identity. By placing my own cast or rendered image in each tableaux, I become the doomed, desired, and romanticized 'star' of the drama; thus fusing together my own narratives with those of the beautiful and tragic characters I choose to embody.
Fictional characters are: Ophelia, the doomed ingenue from Shakespeare's, Hamlet whose narrative is mixed with Edie Sedgwick's - the Warhol superstar famously filmed in an empty swimming pool for the 1971 movie, Ciao! Manhattan, mere weeks before her death from a drug overdose at the age of 28; and Icarus, the youth, who in an attempt to flee his island-prison, using wings fashioned from feathers and wax, flies too close to the intoxicating sun and plummets to his death in the sea below. The narrative of Icarus is mixed with those of three gay-men who each died tragically at the height of their prowess. The men are: fashion designer Gianni Versace, shockingly gunned-down in Miami in 1997, adult film star Joey Stefano who died of a drug overdose in Los Angeles in 1994, and contemporary artist Felix Gonzalez-Torres who died of AIDS in 1996.
Icarus, The Re-Mixes: The Gianni Versace Rock n' Royalty Miami-Mix (Pink), The Joey Stefano I Will Love You Forever...Tonight LA-Mix (Green), The Felix Gonzalez-Torres Endless Ecstasy Extended-Mix (White), 1999
Swarovski Crystals, rhinestones, gold and silver leaf on plaster life-casts; dyed-feathers, wire, electric guitars, brushed steel, fur and fabric throws, video, colored-cellophane wrapped candies
Approximate dimensions each: 10' (h) x 9' (w) x 6' (d)
Ophelia: The Ciao! Manhattan Re-Release, 2000
Swarovski Crystals, rhinestones, enamel, tile, vinyl, plaster casts, colored sand on panels
11' (h) x 6' (w) x 1' (d)