JUSTEN LADDA / AUGUST 2 - SEPTEMBER 6, 2016

Pachamama, 2016 mixed media on red cedar wood 16 x 14 inches

Pachamama, 2016 mixed media on red cedar wood 16 x 14 inches

JUSTEN LADDA curated by Nicole Wittenberg

Pachamama is a mother earth goddess, revered by the indigenous people of the Andes. She embodies the mountains and has her own self-sufficient and creative power to sustain life on this earth - she is the mother of earth and of time. 

Justen Ladda is an artist who has been living and working both in and around New York City for 37 years. His first visit to the Andes was while hitchhiking across South America in 1974 where he recollects sleeping in the mountainous forest: Pachamama is the cradle that holds you safe in the basin of the trees.  Today Ladda brings forth her image from a photograph, taken in candlelight and printed on metal leafed red cedar wood, using a silver pigment and gum bi-chromate process. Like much of Ladda’s art, Pachamama’s image is one of experimentation, a photographic process derived from multiple layers of exposures, over a period of many weeks. 

Just around the corner from Grand and Eldridge is a small park, lined with tress, flowers, and large scholar rocks imported by Ladda from China - the Allen Street Mall segment between Delancey and Broome Streets. The original conception of this project began in 1997 after Ladda was selected by the Department of Cultural Affairs in cooperation with the New York Department of Parks and Recreation and was realized in 2008. Since its inception, Ladda quietly continues to upkeep the urban park, mulching, planting and watering.

On August 2nd, in the spirit of transformation, illusion and beauty, we celebrate the arrival of Pachamama's image on Grand Street, in the heat of summer, to remind us of the thriving nature she embodies.

Justen Ladda was born in Goslar, Germany and has been living and working in New York City since 1979. His work is included in the public collections of The Museum of Modern Art, New York; The Israel Museum, Jerusalem, Israel; The New York Public Library, New York; The Alex Katz Foundation, New York; Colby College Museum of Art, Waterville, Maine; Tempozan, Temporary Museum, Osaka, Japan; The Baltimore Museum of Art, Baltimore, MD; The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA; Bowdoin College Museum of Art, Brunswick, Maine; The Portland Museum, Maine; The Neuberger Museum, New York.

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