Concepts of luck, both good and bad, are depicted quite creatively in a new exhibit by Claudia DeMonte in the show La Forza del Destino, (Italian for “the power of fate”). DeMonte’s vivid imagination is evident in her paintings and sculptures inspired by her travels around the world to countries such as Saudi Arabia, Senegal, and Tibet to observe their cultures and customs. She also had the advantage of growing up in an ethnically diverse part of Queens where she encountered objects that symbolized good luck and protection from evil.
A wood sculpture known as Our Lady of Good Fortune depicts a young woman wearing a pink skirt with nails sticking out and various objects such as pieces of fruit, a piece of hair, a five dollar bill, and a figure of a man wearing a suit, among other things. In addition to what can be seen on her dress, the woman also has her hands full with even more objects as though she were bearing gifts.
Similarly, a nearly 5-foot tall bronze sculpture titled Fate also features a woman with similar objects on her dress, but also balancing a basket on her head containing a rabbit, a Buddha, a dragon, an elephant, a duck, a red pepper, and the number “3” among other things.
Another notable installation in this show titled Charmed Life which consists of 56 figures made with acrylic on pulp paper, clustered together on the wall. These figures include a hummingbird, a dragon, a ladybug, a horseshoe, a turtle, a heart, a rainbow, two fish embracing, a foot, a hand with crossed fingers, a black cat, and a black dog.
DeMonte lives and works in New York City and in Kent, Connecticut and her work has been featured at shows across the country and around the world. At The June Kelly Gallery, 166 Mercer St., through May 13th. The gallery is open Tues.—Sat. from 11 a.m.—6 p.m.