Collide by Riki Kuropatwa


Riki Kuropatwa
The Main Gallery . December 3, 2015 – January 22, 2016
Opening Reception: Thursday, December 3, from 730 pm – 10 pm
Harcourt House Artist Run Centre, 3rd floor, 10215 – 112 St, Edmonton

Artist will be present.

In this ongoing body of work, Riki Kuropatwa is exploring conceptual and formal ideas using the world of female roller derby and male football as vehicles. In regards to the derby, there are several reasons for her focus, the common denominator being that they offer a wide range of ideas and visual imagery, including; sexuality, speed, energy, strength, comradery, competition, humour, gore, and strangely enough, classical figurative poses.

The roller derby offers rich and diverse imagery and symbols including; costumes, aliases, gear, as well as the arena itself. Conceptually, the derby is multi-layered, and covers a wide range of conflicting and intense ideas around femaleness, that are engaging, provocative, and somewhat problematic. Part of the attraction to this subject, is the contrast that exists between the ferociousness of the sport and the playful, and highly charged costumes and alias’. Another significant contrast Kuropatwa is playing with in this series, is between the classic gestures of the female figures, and their contemporary and alternative context.

In a similar, yet opposite way, football, which epitomizes masculine ideals, looks remarkably tender when isolated in still-images. The standard conception of football as a display of physical strength, strategy, agility, and intense physical play, collides with the selective presentation of photo-based compositions.

Similar to the frozen and isolated images from the world of female roller derby, football becomes a series of beautiful, poetic, sensual embraces, when viewed as carefully cropped, abstracted paintings.

Contrasts, or duality, are common themes throughout these paintings, that insists on a more pluralistic view of women and men.