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August 21 2014

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Moza’s Mirrors On The Wall

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Truth by Moza Saracho

Considering the Facebook age has spawned a savvy breed of well-branded narcissists, “vanity” is something with which we’re all familiar. Self-reflection, however, feels a bit more foreign. It’s the link between these two concepts that Mexican artist Moza Saracho investigates through her latest series of works, Mirrors by Moza.

“I’ve been fascinated by mirrors since I was young,” said Saracho, 34. “I believe mirrors are very strong, and they show you your weakest parts.” That’s what Saracho hopes onlookers will see when they gaze into her creations, like Truth—a colorful collection of seven-foot-tall resin hand mirrors. “In a world with so much technology, we’re left with very little time to stop and say, ‘OK, who am I?’ I want people to stop looking at themselves for just a moment and ask, ‘What do I reflect?’” offered the artist, who designed sets for the likes of fashion designer Christian Cota, as well as Vogue, before launching her career in the art world.

Moza Saracho and "Moment"

Also in the collection is Existence—a thirteen-foot-long reflective film strip (“Your life is like your own little movie—it’s constantly projected but never repeated,” said Saracho of the work), and Moment, a compilation of thirty-two oversize mirrored Polaroids, one of which went up for auction at July’s Watermill Benefit. Perhaps most significant, however, is Vanity—an eight-foot-long comb currently on view at New York’s Y Gallery in After the Object, an exhibition curated by Anne Huntington. “Both the comb and the mirror are little weapons for me. They corrupt, they deceive, and they drive their victims mad, because when someone is not pleased with how they look, they’ll go to extremes,” explained the artist, who modeled her sculpture after a pocket comb from the thirties. “Vanity is a terrifying vision of beauty that exaggerates pride and [embodies] truth and falsehood,” she added. Saracho likes the fact that the comb’s teeth fragment the viewer’s image, which can make for a borderline-violent—or, at the very least, unsettling—visual experience. “You see yourself in sections—you’re not completely full. It’s representative of the price we pay to please ourselves.”

Splitting her time between New York and Mexico City, Saracho is currently hard at work on a new series that she’s dubbed Art Molecules. “I’m taking different artworks from artists throughout history—beginning with the Renaissance—and abstracting them with mirror and paint.” She feels the works tie into the evolution of Mexico City’s contemporary art movement, which, in the last three years, has exploded with an onslaught of new talent. “Now we’re seen as artists—before, we were not. It’s amazing—there’s this huge wave, and I’m on it. And I just have to surf it right.”

After the Object is on view at Y Gallery through September 8.

Photos: Patrick McMullan Company

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Dept. of Culture