Featuring Virginia Fleck
"We are living in the age of Hollywood Buddhism and celebrity yoga. There is an unprecedented proliferation of spas, yoga studios, and meditation centers replete with lines of clothing and accessories tailored to accentuate the sexier aspects of spiritual practice. The desperate need among advertisers to divine our intimate truths has indelibly linked consumerism to culture.
A mandala is a universal, non-religious tool for meditation typically composed of highly decorative, symmetrical patterns. While a mandala is not sacred per se, they do appear, in some form, in almost every religion or spiritual practice. The carefully chosen symbols and imagery of a traditional mandala imbue it with a meaningfulness that provides guidance on ones path to enlightenment.
Thanks in part to electronic media and social networking sites we are continually monitored, manipulated and seduced by marketing campaigns that appeal to our conceits as consumers. The imagery on each plastic bag is designed by advertisers to cause instant association with worldly acquisitions. My choice of media, plastic bags, imbues my seemingly irreverent mandalas with a contemporary narrative that allows me to analyze the activity of consumerism as a spiritual encounter.
These mandalas are intricately crafted, large scaled works that reference painting, but are created by collaging pieces of detritus from a consumerist society in a way that exposes the efforts of advertisers to influence the masses. The resulting works, each crafted from thousands of pieces of used plastic bags imprinted with familiar logos and slogans can be both humorous and unnerving. These large ebullient mandalas are a manic explosion of consumerist excess that contain and brand our passions while attesting to our belief in the American Dream."
Since 2002, Virginia Fleck has been working exclusively with upcycled plastic bags creating site specific, ecologically conscious art works that have been commissioned for many green building projects including Whole Foods World Headquarters, Dell Children’s Hospital in Austin TX, the US Embassy in Rwanda, University Hospital Sky Tower in San Antonio TX and the NYU Langone Hospital for Bone and Joint Disease in New York City, NY.
Fleck’s work has been exhibited at Art on Paper 2015 in NYC, Art Forum Berlin, Pulse Miami and New York and Arte Fiera in Bologna Italy. Her work appears in many prestigious collections including the permanent collection the United States Embassy in Kigali, Rwanda and the Marino Golinelli collection in Bologna, Italy. Ms. Fleck’s work has been written about and reviewed on the web and in numerous paper publications including American Craft Magazine, Public Art Review, Sculpture Magazine, Metropolitan Home, Western Interiors and Design, Glasstire, Apartment Therapy and MoCo Loco.
For more information visit Virginia Fleck’s website.