On Our Radar: Zoe Buckman

THIS 30 YEAR-OLD ARTIST IS CHANGING THE WORLD— ONE GIANT STEP FOR WOMEN AT A TIME.

From L to R:

From L to R: Buckman; Every Curve; a work from Mostly It’s Just Uncomfortable.

When the Executive Director of the Art Production Fund singles out a New York-based artist as her “art crush du jour,” we pay attention. When we hear said artist also happens to be the beautiful better half of one of our all-time favorite New Yorkers, Mr. Ross Geller (aka David Schwimmer), it’s safe to say our eyes are on you, Zoe Buckman. Working in sculpture, photography, installation and even embroidery, the British-born, multi-disciplinary artist is a master at turning social and cultural issues on their heads— especially those pertaining to women. Take her current solo show, Every Curve at LA’s Papillion Art space: a scene of cascading vintage lingerie embroidered with hip-hop lyrics from iconic rappers like Tupac and Biggie. Featuring corsets, bras and other negligés emblazoned with musical phrases like, “Bitches, I like them brainless,” Buckman addresses the push-pull between female ideals and objectification in every day culture— Genius. Then there’s her Mostly It’s Just Uncomfortable series: a display of gynecological instruments-turned-playful-multi-colored sculptures in support of Planned Parenthood and in opposition to its recent, anti-choice protesters. Perennially original in approach, Buckman’s brilliance lies in her ability to address social issues head on and in her work’s power to make us think, feel and react long after we’ve left the exhibit. We may have just been introduced, but believe us when we say she’ll remain on our radars for a very long time. Here, we sit down with the artist to find out more about her work, plus get a glimpse of her own New York life. 

MY ART SAYS: “Come in closer.”

GREATEST INSPIRATION: I’m hugely inspired by the of work of Hank Willis Thomas, Taryn Simon, Wangechi Mutu and Sophie Calle.

PINCH-ME MOMENT: When I stood in Papillion Art Gallery just before opening my current solo show Every Curve and took in the three years of hard work finally realized. The installation was incredibly tricky, but having all that work (over 95 pieces) finally jamming together was a very proud moment.

WHAT’S NEXT: It’s called Mostly It’s Just Uncomfortable and the series is my response to the recent attack on Planned Parenthood in the US and how women’s reproductive and sexual health rights are in threat. The sculptural work explores the “fight mode” women are currently in by using boxing iconography and gynecological instruments.

Buckman’s New York

NEIGHBORHOOD STANDBY: I frequently take my daughter for coconut pancakes at Miss Lily’s 7A (MAP IT, BOOK IT) where I usually get the jerk chicken and a Red Stripe.

ALL-TIME FAVORITE RESTAURANT: Supper in the East Village (MAP IT, BOOK IT) is a neighborhood Italian joint with the yummiest food and fun vibe. I’ve been going there since I moved to New York 9 years ago.

COCKTAIL DE LA NUIT: A Manhattan from Omar’s (MAP IT, BOOK IT).

GALLERY GO-TO: The Brooklyn Museum (MAP IT). From the main space to the Pavilion to the Sackler Center for Feminist Art, the curation there is always so strong.

ART SUPPLIES: Blick Art in the East Village (MAP IT).

ULTIMATE NY MOMENT: I became a mother, an adult, an artist and a partner all in New York. It’s really the place I became a woman so it’s impossible to name my ultimate NY moment, but one of my favorite things about this city is how everyone’s “New York” is different. Last weekend, I had a drink on my friend’s balcony in Tribeca; I looked out at his view of New York, complete with sky-scrapers and the 911 Memorial, and I thought, “your New York is so different to mine!” I love that. CP

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