image text special

'Meant to Be' by Manuela Soto at Lubov, New York

article image; primary-color: #D8D7D5;
article image; primary-color: #CFCECC;
article image; primary-color: #E0E0DE;
article image; primary-color: #E2E2E2;
article image; primary-color: #DFDFDF;
article image; primary-color: #DDDDDD;
article image; primary-color: #DBDBD9;
article image; primary-color: #CFCFCF;
article image; primary-color: #E1E1E1;
article image; primary-color: #D9D9D9;
article image; primary-color: #DFDFDF;
article image; primary-color: #D8D8D8;
article image; primary-color: #DADADA;
article image; primary-color: #E3E3E3;
article image; primary-color: #DBDBDB;
article image; primary-color: #D1D1D1;
article image; primary-color: #D6D6D6;
article image; primary-color: #E4E4E4;
article image; primary-color: #E3E3E3;
article image; primary-color: #D1D3D2;
article image; primary-color: #BFBDB0;
article image; primary-color: #C5BFB3;
article image; primary-color: #AFAB9F;
article image; primary-color: #C4C0B4;
article image; primary-color: #CAC6BA;
article image; primary-color: #C5C1B5;

Manuela Soto's work is both viral and permanent, a contradiction fit for an age where female empowerment and self expression is wrapped up in enduring trends and cyclical battles for Instagram-oriented liberation. From flip phones and fishnets to knuckles that read "B-A-B-Y", the signifiers found within Soto's anime-inspired tattoos mimic the online trends adopted by their wearers. Sensual postures, bare breasts and scowling grins imply agency, transforming manga-like figures into modern symbols of sexual dominance and self-empowerment. 

Soto's drawings and stencils could be seen as ephemera on the road to permanence, but they mark a collaborative effort – a marriage of the virtual and the real. Like the online communities they mirror, Soto's illustrations find inspiration across a multitude of cultures and forms, locating their power within the trend-conscious bodies they emulate. From hard-edge latina gangsters to innocent-looking, tear- strewn girls, Soto's drawings echo both caricatures and tribal forms. If the skin is merely a shell of the soul, etching into it is just like trying on the latest trend – your options might be limited, but that's what makes you part of the gang. 

Like barbie, each form is similar in structure and appearance, carrying an air of self-confidence that is amplified by her unique aesthetic. Do you identify with the crybaby in a Louis Vuitton bikini? Or the bad bitch with an AK? Either way it doesn't matter. Like with all simulated identities, it's not who you are on the inside that counts. It's who you want to be. 


— Taylore Scarabelli 

25.5.18 — 8.7.18

Lubov

'Stendhal Syndrome' by Christian Roncea at Gipsenzaal, KABK, The Hague

'the lorries are speaking', Off-Site Show Curated by Julius Pristauz, Sinkhole Pr

'China' by Mindaugas Navakas at (AV17) Gallery, Vilnius

'Un Paysan Heureux', Off-Site Group Show, Lausanne

Nina Rieben & Brigham Baker at Palazzina, Basel

'Isolation Booth' by Nick Jeffrey at Jakob Kroon, Worthing

'Elf slashed with a sword' by Martin Lacko at Pragovka Gallery, Prague

'Where the wild roses grow', a Group Show at Pina, Vienna

Aleksei Taruts, THE CURSE OF THE STINKING CAVES

'Splendido' by Paolo Brambilla at Secret Location, Italy

'Jung Thug' by Tissue Evolution Club at CAC, Vilnius

'Reiterate' by Tobias Hansen at foundation, Vienna

'No Hot Water the Boiler is Broken' by Jack Pryce for the Body Archive Project

'Laminar Body^ies' by Natalia Janula at Final Hot Desert, Utah

'No Teeth Left', a Group Show by Collective Disgrace at Tunnel Tunnel, Lausanne

'STAY SAFE', Off-Site Group Show by Shivers Only, Chantemanche

'Anticipatory Grief' by Michael Bussell at Vent Space, Baltimore

'Faya Lobi' by Xavier Robles de Medina at Praz-Delavallade, Paris

Next Page