Page 170

ARTIST STUDIO

created a voice that purposefully addressed the ever-evolving sociopolitical landscape of the early 2000s. “And then the bunnies happened,” Sunshine says. She has elevated these unsung critters of our urban and rural landscapes into iconic figures—wise but slightly detached observers of the human experience. It is this journey from their natural habitat into the messy world of humans that informs much of Sunshine’s work. In Time to Dance, for instance, a naked woman is shown surrounded by 15 bunny rabbits as the shadow of a bigger bunny Clockwise from left: Kadosh (2008), acrylic house paint; The Relationships of Human Nature (2007), mixed media; approaches. “The issue of exposure indeed bathtub in Sunshine’s home made of scrapped tile. poses a problem,” Sunshine says, the pain and longing inherent in the desire to tightness of New York City and the strik- be noticed—and yet not be noticed. “As ing light and space of New Mexico. “I women, we want to be protected, of course, was beginning to want to transition,” she yet we all want to be present so someone says. “Santa Fe opened up my composi- might ask us to dance. Or, we might want to tion. It allowed space to come in.” Abstract ask someone ourselves and may have trouexpressionism slowly gave way to real- ble asserting that prerogative.” Perhaps this istic “interiors”—a room in a house, for “Everywoman,” as Sunshine calls her, “is instance—and she experimented with 3-D not being threatened at all, but simply being ceramics and mosaics, which resulted in asked to dance. Or to accept a trophy, or a job tiling many parts of her own house. She offer, or the election results? This is a study used her paints to achieve a flatter, more in tension and contradiction.” immediate effect that was very different The Relationships of Human Nature from the brush marks and lush surfaces (2007) reveals the acerbic wit of an artthat come with oils. It was here that she ist willing to tell the truth, to reveal what 168 TREND 20th Anniversary Summer 2019

Sunshine calls “fake science or science with a quirk.” In it, a series of figures are holding hands, seemingly listening to the dictates of what the world thinks is acceptable. “This one is really a statement about political correctness, opposites attracting, and people needing each other without hurting each other but helping one another,” Sunshine says. She knew she was treading on dangerous ground with this piece, but she asserts the right to tell her truth, regardless of fashion. Ultimately, Sunshine’s characters are not defenseless. They are simply abiding. This is most apparent in Kadosh (2008). A Hebrew word that means “holy,” kadosh is also the name of a well-known Jewish prayer. Through it, we hear the voices of angels. The word is repeated throughout the work, crossing three faces that represent three supposedly disparate religions that conjoin and depend on each other. “My challenge here was to use the sandcolored negative space as a positive force,” Sunshine explains. “Think of the potent passages of pure silence in the work of composer John Cage.” Kadosh, like much of her work, is a synchronous call, a shoutout into the void affirming that, as the days turn and the darkness rules, so does the light wait patiently. R

Profile for Trend

Trend Summer 2019  

Trend Summer 2019  

Advertisement