You don't need a BA in Art History to enjoy Jennifer Ling Datchuk's new exhibit Don't Tell me to Smile, now on display at Ruiz-Healy Art New York. From taking a collection of Confederacy bone china made by Lennox in the 1970s and transforming the southern soldiers (with painted on MAGA hats) into chunky bracelet charms, to refashioning the iconic laughing Buddha image to feature little girls crawling all over him, the San Antonio artist rewrites the histories and traumas of womanhood, race and identity, turning the charged objects into sources of empowerment.
"My practice is deeply rooted in the understanding of craft and crafts tradition and this idea of women's work," says Datchuk. "This idea of craft, of championing the handmaid, of material culture, the sense of history and tradition embedded in these tiny materials. I see them now as they always did, as they go together, using hair and porcelain as ways to talk about race, identity, and gender."
Click through for a peek at the must-see show!
[Photos courtesy Ruiz-Healy Art New York]