Collection: 'Her Honest Self' by Silvia Sarsano

15 artworks


The art of Silvia Sarsano is formed around the ideas of “generation” and “memory”. The artist believes that history is not only written by major figures but also by the common people who nurture, transform and pass on culture, values and history itself, which, in turn, forgets them. By portraying common people, unknown for most of us, Sarsano poses herself as a reporter of her generation to present the unfixed beauty of real people without idolization, without any pretence of perfection, in their honest selves and pure emotions.

In this exhibition, Sarsano presents sitters as their true selves, without masks, as they see themselves, alone facing the mirror. Sarsano’s technique of merging the clothes with the background into one abstract pattern gently strips the sitter of any kind of superfluous social indicators, which in traditional portraiture impose preconceived ideas about the subject’s status on the viewer. Sarsano leaves us with little choice but to focus on who the human on the canvas is, through very instinctive clues one finds only in her eyes, her pose, her expression.

Among the works presented, Her Honest Self will premiere works from Silvia Sarsano’s ‘The Kalighat Project’ created by the artist during her stay at the Chander Haat artist residency in Kolkata, India, in 2019. The series treats human trafficking issues and how in Kolkata, NGOs support former sex workers to reintegrate into society by teaching them new work skills, like block printing on fabric. By adapting this technique to her own canvases, Silvia Sarsano portrays six women while integrating the style of the fabrics they are trained to produce. One of the portrayed women is not an actual sex worker; the difference, impossible to detect, is here to insist on the unbreakable dignity of these women, regardless of their profession or social status.

20% of all profits from sales of ‘The Khalighat Project’ will be donated to the NewLight NGO in Kolkata, India.

 

 

  • 'Nasreen' from 'The Kalighat Project' series, 2019.
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  • 'Mishti' from 'The Kalighat Project' series, 2019.
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  • 'Rupi' from 'The Kalighat Project' series, 2019.
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  • 'Arpita' from 'The Kalighat Project' series, 2019.
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  • 'Rakhi' from 'The Kalighat Project' series, 2019.
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  • 'Mallika' from 'The Kalighat Project' series, 2019.
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  • 'M', 2020.
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  • 'Lilian' from 'al-kīmiyā' series, 2019.
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  • 'Susana' from 'al-kīmiyā' series, 2019.
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  • 'Melanie' from 'al-kīmiyā' series, 2019.
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  • 'Kaya', 2020.
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  • 'Everyday Icon II', 2020.
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  • 'Everyday Icon III', 2020.
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  • 'Everyday Icon IV', 2020.
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  • 'Martina', 2020.
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