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Sara Cwynar

Tobacco Silk 2 (Ceramic Art, Women’s Wrestling League), 2020

archival pigment print mounted on dibond
76.2 x 86.4cm
About Sara Cwynar
Sara Cwynar works with photography, installation and film, using these mediums to digest the way in which desire is cultivated within capitalist society. Working to tackle ‘soft misogyny’ (casual, everyday sexism that goes unnoticed), Cwynar frequently works with collage to unearth the historical dominance and seduction of images. Working with two-dimensional collaged materials and female models, Cwynar commonly brings these components together in the photography studio. Models wearing couture garments are photographed with a Cezanne or a Reubens painting behind them. To shift the image away from an editorial fashion context, tongue and cheek elements are added to the mix. Cwynar’s models hold up illustrations of cartoon female figures against their own bodies for example. Their physical limbs entangle with fleshy Renaissance torsos behind them and the hyper-feminine drawn silhouettes prefacing these models. Bizarrely, these distinct beauty standards meet in one frame, revealing the fickle nature of attraction. Sitting within kitsch aesthetics, the hyperbolic character of Cwynar’s work does give her installations a humorous tone, yet they undoubtedly unsettle power dynamics propagated by beauty standards. Through these processes, Cwynar is able to disentangle desire from consumption, carving space for less regimented ideals and honest portrayals of femininity.