Birgit Piskor Studio Show and Sale
Saturday, March 9th – Sunday, March 10th, 2013, 12-6pm
Victoria, BC Art Events
My friend Jen Steele Photography, invited me along to see New Works by Birgit Piskor (pronounced beer-git). It’s very funny, because so many people have told me about Birgit’s work, and have described her studio to me (you know, the place with the giant chess set in the garden), and finally today, I came face-to-face with said artist, and her larger-than-life chess set.
Her sculptural works are most commonly purchased internationally by art collectors, and high-end interior designers. I can see why!
Birgit works in concrete and makes the most delicate curves and swathes of fabric in her fine art sculpture. Many knots, curves, phallic and female forms, one piece in particular is reminiscent of Georgia O’Keeffe. Several pieces reminded me of Winged Victory of Samothrace , (Louvre, Paris), which is the headless statue discovered at Samothrace and dating from about 200 BC. The wrapping of the concrete “fabric” also reminded me of the mummies of Ancient Egypt.
Birgit’s studio and gallery space is set within a lovely, character home in James Bay. I loved the setting for the works because the pieces are so contemporary, but while you can visualize them within the most austere museum setting, or a modern European glass and concrete home, they also fit within a more traditional style, or home aesthetic.
Perhaps this is because of their seeming connection to ancient carvings. Several pieces remind me of a marriage between the Venus of Willendorf, a Greek mythological creature, concept sculptures by John Baldessari, and any ethereal entity from some yet undiscovered, planet. Even the stacked circles called, The Zambris, remind me of other-worldly monuments; ancient communication devices, dreamcatchers, or dream portals.
One of my favorite pieces was the flower petals and penis stigma. I love how the stigma and style, being the female part of the plant is shaped like a penis.It immediately made me think of Jeffrey Eugenides book, Middlesex.
And yes, you get to check out where it all happens in the working studio outside. This makes for a full studio tour experience.
During our visit today, Birgit shared with us a life and death story of her real Jonah and the Whale experience while traveling down south. During a day of kayaking, a spiritual experience took place in one definitive moment. Two grey whale breeching around her kayak was nearly the end. With the kayak destroyed, and water thundering all around from the pressure of the waves, she and her kayaking partner lived to see another day.
This makes Birgit a woman with many messages to share within her work, and naturally, one of her spirit animals is the whale (fortunately, they don’t eat squirrel).
I’ll leave Birgit to tell you the entire story.
Visit her studio this weekend.