Student Art Retrospective: Venus

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Over a year ago, James Wojtal ’18 began collaborating with fellow artists and friends Emma Brown ’17 and Andrew Perricone ’17. James noticed a few significant themes arising in his poetry. He had always loved Greek myth, intrigued by characters like Venus and Aphrodite. He identifies with Venus, understanding that her sexuality was extremely complicated, tainted by violence and forced to fit the desire of others. “When I was young, I was nervous for Venus and Aphrodite. So much was left unsaid in the myths — I didn’t know if Aphrodite wanted to be the goddess of love, if she was happy,” James told me. Investigating his perception of his own body as a site of both violence and sexuality, James Wojtal collaborates with Emma Brown and Andrew Perricone to investigate self-harm and the capacity of the body for both pleasure and pain in a multi-media project on show this week in the Horn Gallery. James’ poetry is accompanied by Emma’s photography and music by Andrew. These art forms combine to create a sensory experience so visceral that it mirrors the corporeal nature of the work.

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