Maria Fernanda Nuñez Alzate (mo)
Maria Fernanda Nuñez is a Colombian artist and designer based in Philadelphia, USA. Nunez’s media include fibers, print, and sculpture. Nunez has received support through various awards and fellowships including the Windgate Craft Fellowship at the Vermont Studio Center, the Bex Frankel Fellowship from the Oregon Institute for Creative Research, the Penland Core Fellowship at the Penland School of Crafts and the North Carolina Arts Council Artist Support Grant. Their work has been exhibited at ADX Annex Gallery, Artist’s Television Access, Screaming Sky Gallery, SOMArts, Vermont Studio Center, Penland School of Crafts, R. Horner Penland Gallery, Toe River Arts Gallery, Queens University, Asian Arts Initiative Philadelphia, and Automat Collective, among others.
I’ve often come to object making as a way to remember specific feelings, making and the objects result in as stand ins for memories but less so like a library or an archive, organized and controllable, and much more like a cloud where the raindrops feel like distillation of an unorganized knowing, an evocation. Through sculptural forms that often emulate and echo frames, edifices, slabs and architectural details, yet aim for precarity and looseness through their surface and material treatment, the work is Interested in referencing and celebrating the aesthetic of the useless, the dysfunctional, the archaic, and the hybrid. I hope that by embracing the imperfections, the cracks, the irregularities, and openings offered by materials, moments of vulnerability and tenderness arise.
“What is a body but a thing to be entered and exited?”* Where does intimacy begin and end? The objects in my work ask the viewer for closeness, to engage with them requires proximity. I ask how we may approximate the textures of intimacy, the rough edges of want and desire, and access more ways of knowing through the body. How do we change by allowing our imagination to engage with these forms and gestures in playful intimacy?
My most recent work, is focused on the transformation of common materials, such as cotton or denim, materials marked by our familiarity and proximity to them, into sculptural cast forms. In this work I’ve also begun to use food imagery and the gestures of ingestion to question what the gestures through which intimacy is articulated, called, and therefore summoned, are.