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Omphaloskepsis Blog

II Álvaro Noboa International Biennale of Painting

Apr 25, 2010

Shotgun Accident

Seattle’s Kate Vrijmoet wins a top award at international painting biennale in Equador

WHAT: II Álvaro Noboa International Biennale of Painting
WHEN: Public Reception: Wednesday, April 28, 7 p.m.
WHERE: Luis A Noboa Naranjo Museum, Guayaquil, Equador,

For information about the II Álvaro Noboa International Biennale of Painting, Guayaquil, Equador, contact Pablo Matinez, Director of the Luis A. Noboa Naranjo Museum, pmartinezrojas1@yahoo.com Tel: 00 593-4-2561893

Kate Vrijmoet, “Shotgun Accident,” latex paint on canvas, 62.5” x 49.5, 2009 (image attached)

(Seattle) It has been announced by the Biennale’s jury that Kate Vrijmoet’s “Shotgun Accident” has won a $5,000 award prize at the II Álvaro Noboa International Biennale of Guayaquil, Equador. Ms. Vrijmoet will attend the award ceremony on April 28, 2010 where Alvero Noboa, founder, and Pablo Matinez, president of the Luis A Noboa Naranjo Museum, will present Ms. Vrijmoet with the $5k prize.

Thousands of paintings were submitted from over 25 countries including the United States, Italy, Turkey, Panama, Honduras, France, Argentina, Israel, Cuba and Kosovo among others. About four hundred paintings were selected for the final juried exhibition. There were three award prizes totaling $35,000: $20,000 for first place; $10,000 for second place; and $5,000 for third place. Ms. Vrijmoet’s “Shotgun Accident” won third place and the $5,000 prize. As well, “Shotgun Accident” will be acquired by the Luis A. Noboa Naranjo Museum.

This year’s Biennale jury included: artist Theo Constante, sculptor Larissa Marangoni, and museum director and painter Mariela Garcia from Ecuador; Joseph Roberts, curator from the United States; and Argentinian Alejandra Rosetti, VP of Sotheby’s NY.

Vrijmoet’s radical project is immediately apparent in her “accident series” in which a single figure is in the process of a horrific (and usually grotesquely bloody) accident with a chainsaw, shotgun, axe or similar tools and weapons. Her handling of the paint matches the situation’s goriness – melting bodies tossing explosive splatters of blood. Often, her subjects seem not yet to be aware of the violence they have perpetrated on themselves: The viewer plays the role of the witness much as he might watch a horror movie – completely aware of the violence and agony that awaits the victim’s realization. “Shotgun Accident” is very much in the thick of Vrijmoet’s “accident series.”
Vrijmoet’s subject, however, is less the gore than the moment the gore marks: A moment of waking, of a new consciousness, of self-awareness. Her subject is trauma itself – the word coming from the German for “dream.” The accidents mark the rest of the victim’s life, whether it is merely to be a few more seconds or to be lived from then on without an arm, a leg or an eye – or with deep physical and psychological scars. If this man survives the encounter with the shotgun, his life will never be the same.

Vrijmoet’s artistic vision combines Pop Art (think Andy Warhol’s “Car Accident”) with the sublime (think Edmund Burke who in 1757 wrote: “Astonishment is that state of the soul, in which all its motions are suspended, with some degree of horror."

Vrijmoet received her MFA from Syracuse University. Her work has been shown in dozens of exhibitions around the country. Vrijmoet was recently featured in a solo exhibition at Seattle’s Center on Contemporary Art: A catalog of that exhibition with texts by Joseph Roberts, Elatia Harris and Daniel Kany will be available in June (www.cocaseattle.org).

Category: Biennale

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