Home » Opulent Mobility – An Online Art Exhibit in Review by Meaghan Alfonso

Opulent Mobility 2018

Opulent Mobility – An Online Art Exhibit in Review by Meaghan Alfonso

Reviewed by Meaghan Alfonso

NOV 17-MAR 31: Opulent Mobility 2017 – An Online Art Exhibit

Disability shouldn’t be a burden or something to look away from. Since 2009, Opulent Mobility’s unique exhibit started with the artwork of A. Laura Brody, a professional costume maker and designer. She first developed Opulent Mobility as a series of artworks before expanding in 2013. Opulent Mobility gives easy access to its audience by posting its exhibits online. And its sound clip descriptions make it incredibly accessible for people who have trouble seeing. For OM’s 2017 exhibit, 9 talented artists have contributed artwork inspired by the world of disability. All of them have created beautifully gorgeous pieces, but I do have some favorites that I will share with you today.

My first artist that I want to share is, of course, A. Laura Brody herself. She has created some inspiring work that represents what it means to have a disability in her own eyes. Her first piece shown is called “The Kali Walker“, and its made of an aluminum walker, re-purposed leather, and hardware. Kali, the Hindu Goddess of time and empowerment, is presented in front of the walker. Also a demon slayer, Kali is such a powerful symbol and embodies what it should mean to people who have a mobility problem. Brody quotes that, “Disability and aging are demonized in our culture as tragedy, weakness, and something to be feared. Kali in her walker represents a different truth—that time catches up to us all, and that strength and ferocity are not measured by physical ability.” The symbolism in this piece shows such wonderfulness and creates an uplifting feeling, that we shouldn’t be scared of the future– of what is to come when getting older.

Fang-Wei Hsu, one of my other favorites, is an illustrator and writer from Taiwan. Her piece, “Flamboyance New Life“, is very elegant yet fragile. Made from an abundance of materials (Aluminum crutch, ribbons, organza, feather, fringes, netting, gold and silver metals, Swarovski crystals, acrylic found objects, LED lights and battery), this piece shows her relationship with disability and her identity being a disabled person herself. Hsu says in her artist statement that, “Art making is not simply an internal conversation or emotional outlet, it conveys my perspectives of life” which I believe is true for most artists. Art mimics life and vice versa, so having pieces being created like Hsu’s is so inspiring to see.

Lastly, Katherine Sherwood’sMaja“, is aesthetically pleasing and nostalgic in way. This piece is part of a series she has called Venuses of the Yelling Clinic, and painted on the linen backs of Art History reproductions made in 1950-60s. The linen backs are all tiled together, and she has painted a silhouette of a “maja”, so to speak, right on top of the linen backs. Using a yellow and black color palette, Sherwood has created a beautifully large scale painting that is hard to forget. Because it is not extensively detailed, you are able to retain the information given. It is a naked woman laying next to a cane. But who is this woman? Your mind starts to create some ideas of what she should look like, but either way she is beautiful.

The symbolism and creativity of each piece are so different from one another, yet the same. I respect Brody for creating an exhibit that might not be for everyone, but there is definitely a voice in it. I know that I have only talked about a few artists here today, but the the other talented artists are definitely one to check out! Disabled or not, you will enjoy talking a look at these lovely pieces and maybe take something else “home” with you other than the art.

NOV 17-MAR 31: Opulent Mobility 2017 – An Online Art Exhibit

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.