B E A S T I A R Y

Chandler Gallery
Maud Morgan Center Arts
January-February 2016

Colella's sculptures are decadent enigmas. Vibrant and complex, their stuffed forms encapsulate both primitive and highly developed impulses. Like a cabinet of curiosities sprung to life, the sculptures' ornate surfaces possess a vivid tactility that appeals to the senses, while their sculpted forms have unpredictable and at times unsettling compositions.

Their bulky, high-wrought forms allude to power figures, and their construction to shamanism, as though through their making Colella seeks essential truths about humanity, however uncomfortable the answers may be.

Colella's reconstructed beasts convey vivid, comic, and even shocking messages. "Feeler," with a large, huggable, furry white body sprouting leaves, has no head. Instead, a big, round hole tunnels into its body. Is it turning itself inside out? Will it suck us up in the process? Either way, this cuddly critter has a dark side.    – Cate McQuaid, The Boston Globe

The works are proud and extravagent, resonating with covert parts of human psychology.    – Shana Dumont Garr

Grotesque but endearing.     – Eric Delisle, Maud Morgan Arts Center

 

The Installation Nature of the Beast is comprised of stuffed dogs, distributed by Victoria Secret, that are reconstructed and combined with found objects to become surreal whimsical beasts – innocent toys tinged with a pinch of darkness.

Embellished with embroidery, an act identified with the feminine, they embody vulnerabilities about self-image, identity,
gender, ethnicity and status.

Essay excerpt: Shana Dumont Garr    Photosgraphy: Will Howcroft, Jodi Colella