Mira Dancy

AGE: 36.


CURRENTLY LIVE: Cobble Hill, Brooklyn.

GALLERY: Night Gallery, Los Angeles and Chapter NY, New York.

DESCRIPTION OF WORK: My work revolves around making paintings, but each new body of work extends into other forms. Writing poems and making short videos are part of my process, and using other materials, such as neons, printed vinyl, and Plexiglas elements, has helped me clarify a certain architectural and psychological attitude I have toward exhibition space—that it’s haunted, that images themselves are full of ghosts.

THE MOST SURPRISING REACTION TO YOUR WORK YOU’VE RECEIVED: Certain adjectives perplex me, but I would say that I’m generally working against the mundane, male-centered read of “joyful naked ladies.” All of those words are wrong to me. I’m interested in creating images of women that summon the implicit trauma that comes with subjecthood, the gaps that are forged between an inner and outer being. And I’m interested in sexiness, not just as a consumable quality, but as a channel for the presentation of multiple splitting selves. I know not every viewer is necessarily capable of perceiving this position, but I find this limitation interesting in and of itself … and that this is more or less the basis of a larger cultural shift taking shape today. The frequency of more kinds of voices being heard, speaking fearlessly, from all kinds of bodies.

DOES THE CURRENT ART WORLD FOSTER OR DEVOUR TALENT? That totally depends on which part of the world you look at. My relationships with other artists and with Night Gallery in particular have sustained me for a number of years and helped me make my work better. There are, in fact, many galleries and institutions that take their role in the art world seriously and work hard to use whatever leverage they have to create platforms for discussions and growth. The art market, however, is a different animal and seems to, for the most part, mimic the amnesia and short-sightedness of the larger cultural headline machine—the 48-hour news cycle or whatever it is—a flattening where dollar amounts eat up any chance for real talk about actual events or living things.


DO YOU LIKE HOW YOUR WORK APPEARS ON THE INTERNET? I couldn’t possibly in good conscience say yes to that! My paintings function as big, body-size beings, and they tend to be as temperamental and camera shy as I am. Their colors are strong and lurid and problematic. Other materials I use, such as the neons or Plexi mirrors, are photo-prone insta-magnets; that comes with its own can of worms. But it’s interesting to experience this spectrum of (in)visibility nonetheless.