Fremin Gallery will open its doors to Punctured Ink, a new exhibition featuring works from Reka Nyari. The new series “Punctured Ink” incorporates works from Nyari’s ongoing portrait project titled “Ink Stories”, which was introduced at Nyari’s very first solo gallery exhibit, and consists of large-scale nude photographs that explore the concept of self-identity and female empowerment.
The series joins six women together, each who have faced adversity, to demonstrate the creation of a strengthened self-image through tattoos. Through highlighting the intricate woven threads of ink on each woman’s skin, Nyari can propose the idea that self-empowerment and reconciliation with one’s traumas can be linked to the act of greeting one’s “own skin” or inventing their own story.
Nyari has now elevated these intimate photographs in her new Punctured Ink series through the process of puncturing botanical-like references into the surface of each image (thus making each one of a kind). Her inspiration to physically puncture the previously pristine photographic prints stemmed from a childhood memory that occurred while she was living in Finland: “I remembered my parents had this big pad of paper next to the home phone in Finland and I would use my mother’s sewing needles to poke patterns into the paper”.
This nostalgic memory in combination with the longing to apply her physical, painterly abilities resulted in the choice to transform these photographs via puncturing the paper. Unlike painting or drawing on the surface of each print, the raised, brail like holes created leave a permanent result, just as a tattoo does to one’s skin. While the surface of an artwork, like skin, is typically preserved and or avoided, Nyari follows in the subject’s footsteps by purposely destroying the pristine surface in order to create a new narrative. The act taps into a long history of tribal scarification which signified a right of passage, permitting the individual to transcend their past traumas and transforming their evolved selves. This notion grounds all of her works.
In addition, Nyari’s choice to puncture nature-based patterns into each portrait also has its own significance. She stated that when “talking about scarification and getting over trauma, to me, nature is one of the most healing and beautiful elements.”
As Nyari is emphasizing through her photographs, when you add a personal story onto the skin, it is a whole new layer that often becomes biographical. It translates a story to the audience of one’s past, future and wishes. While this concept existed in her previous photographic series, now, through puncturing the surface of each, Nyari is adding another layer of permanence onto her works’ meaning, therefore becoming, as she calls it “ink cubed”.
Reka Nyari: Punctured Ink Artist Reception will take place on September 9th at 6:00pm at Fremin Gallery, 520 West 23rd Street, NYC.
Following the updated CDC guidelines for gallery events, a proof of vaccination will be required at the door (at lease one dose of vaccination).