NEW YORK ARTIST DRESSES BENTON PARK HOUSE IN SPANDEX OUTFIT
COSIGN PROJECTS of ST. LOUIS PRESENTS
HOUSE COAT BY LEEZA MEKSIN
March 18, 2011 – April 18, 2011
This monumental installation opens at 4 p.m. on Friday, March 18, 2011,
and will continue into the evening as a house party, free and open to the public.
New York artist Leeza Meksin presents HOUSE COAT a site-specific installation for a two-story row house in Benton Park West. At the invitation of Cosign Projects, this interdisciplinary artist brings to St. Louis her unique combination of sculpture, performance, and public art with an opening on March 18. HOUSE COAT is a massive fabric outfit constructed from hundreds of yards of white spandex custom-printed with large gold chains. Set amidst the red brick of South City Saint Louis, Meksin’s installation seeks to invite conversations about differences and similarities between our buildings and our bodies. Not coincidentally, the artist’s personal background as a Jewish exile from Russia relates the pattern of gold chains to freedom and slavery, while evoking pop-cultural motifs of bling and fabulousness.
Working within the tradition of such installation artists as Christo and Jeanne-Claude, this project is part of the artist’s ongoing exploration of the visual potential of stretch fabrics. The costumed house explores the gendered terrain between textiles and architecture, evoking the hyper-fitted garments worn by entertainers, drag queens, and super heroes.
Leeza Meksin has been working closely with other artists, friends and family members to realize this project. The creative team includes: Lauren Adams & Jake Peterson, Cosign Projects; Andrea Betai & Ceci Davis, Graphic Design; Laura Divergilio & Andrea Fama, Planning and Development; Victoria Lewis, Pattern Pulse; Kathryn Lofton, Fabrication; Meesha Meksin, Installation; Scotty of Scott’s Contracting, Safety and Common Sense; and Anya Meksin who will be documenting the project via photo and video.
This exhibition is made possible by generous support from over one hundred financial backers via the online funding platform Kickstarter. Once the installation is complete, Meksin will be making a variety of spandex items for all the supporters who made House Coat possible.
‘HOUSE COAT’ will be on display through April 18, and possibly longer, depending upon the weather.
Elizaveta (Leeza) Meksin is a Brooklyn-based interdisciplinary artist who makes installations, paintings, sculptures, films and multiples. Meksin was born and raised in Moscow, Russia, and educated in the United States. She received a Joint BA/MA in Comparative Literature from the University of Chicago before continuing on to a BFA from SAIC and an MFA in Painting from the Yale School of Art. She is the recipient of the Robert Schoelkopf Fellowship and the Yale Collaborative Project Grant, and has exhibited her work throughout the US. Recent venues include the Abington Arts Center, Regina Rex, and Columbia College. She has worked as a Production Designer on independent films in New York and has been awarded a grant from the Open Society Institute of the Soros Foundation to co-direct a documentary film about women struggling with drugs in Ukraine (BALKA). In 2010 she was chosen to participate in the Chashama Artist Studio Program in Brooklyn. Currently Meksin teaches at Tyler School of Art, Temple University and The New York Art Studio in Manhattan.
Initiated in 2009, Cosign Projects of St. Louis supports projects by emerging artists. Cosign has invited nine installations from a variety of artists residing in California, Pennsylvania, Ohio, North Carolina, Colorado, and Missouri. The gallery’s model includes presenting artworks that differ from typical gallery or museum projects, such as signs, banners, and other work visible from the street. HOUSE COAT is Cosign’s largest project to date, and will be a capstone project that culminates the gallery’s mission to present socially relevant contemporary work that engages political history and local communities. Cosign is curated by Lauren F. Adams, artist and assistant professor of painting at the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts at Washington University in St. Louis.
To learn more about the project, please visit our website: