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b. Israel - lives and works in Florida

Amy Gelb is an American and Israeli photo-based fiber artist and photographer who lives and works in Miami. Through the use of photography, textile, and recycled materials, her work explores the historical and collective narratives of women inter-generationally; and the impact that belief systems have on our mental and physical health and well-being. By examining the social fabric of the female story, Gelb weaves together the multiple layers of women’s past, present, and future selves. She draws upon her own familial history in order to reveal the lessons inherited from our matriarchs.

Gelb’s major body of work, As Is, researched through interviews and photography the unsolicited messages and responses women have received and internalized about their bodies. Functioning as an archive of material on women’s bodies, the work was collected in a monograph titled As Is: Women Exposed, published in 2018 by Daylight Books. Gelb graduated from Tisch School of the Arts at New York University in 1991 with a BFA in Acting. She earned an MSW in Clinical Social Work from NYU in 1994.

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What once enters the psyche stays there forever, even when we’re unaware. Although forgotten, our earliest identifications, like tastes, smells, sounds, voices, etc., make themselves known as nostalgia, a yearning or desire to experience them for the first time again. My work deals with this nostalgia, as well as attachment, displacement, and memory in the context of my experience as an immigrant. I have a strong interest in attachment to objects, specifically to photographs. Photography has allowed me to direct my practice to where it is now—I erase, destroy, and, most importantly, cover my paintings in an effort to question and challenge one’s attachments.

My recent works feature acrylic house paint covering parts of the “finished” oil paintings as a metaphor for memories. The number one rule of painting is never to use acrylic over oil, and I’m breaking this by painting yellow acrylic house paint on top of layers of oil. Like memories, even if you cannot see them, they’re there, covered underneath the surface. I start by combining photos that my dad has taken throughout my life, photos from old family albums, and my photography.

In my work, I reference my own pictures, my dad’s lifelong documentation of my family, and old photos from my family’s archive. I then work to create different narratives by recontextualizing images of my personal and family history. I want the viewer to question whether our memories are always the same, unchanging, or constantly changing and adapting as events in our personal lives and the world occur.

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2022

40 Women Pulling at the Threads of Social Discourse - Curated by Melanie Prapopoulos - Museum of Contemporary Art - Westport, CT. - upcoming June 30 - September 9th

2021

Fire Offering - Curated by Sofia Bastidas - Collective 62 - Miami, Florida

64 Women Pulling at the Threads of Social Discourse - Curated by Camp Gallery - Miami, Florida

Warp & Waft - Curated by Taryn Moller Nicole - The Frank Gallery - Pembroke Pines, Florida

2020

SO [SEW] AMERICA CARES - Curated by Aurora Molina - The Coral Gables Museum - Miami, Florida

40 Women Pulling at the Threads of Social Discourse - The Camp Gallery - Miami, Florida

Expressing Ourselves: Women Living with Breast Cancer - JCC Gallery - Miami, Florida

seeingWOMEN 2020 - Chateau de Lomenie in Montpouillan (Lot and Garonne), France

seeingWOMEN 2020 - Chateau de LaLande in Crozon-sur-Vauvre (Indre), France

HerStory - A Collective - Arte Libre - FIU - Miami, Florida

US - Undercurrent - Projects, Curated by Savannah Spirit, Artsy

The Poetry of the Ordinary - PhotoPlace Gallery - Juror Sarah Sudhoff - Middlebury,Vermont


2019

New femininity #3, Curated by Laetitia Duveau (aka Little Voice), Melkweg Gallery Expo, -Amsterdam, Netherlands

AS IS Artist talk and Book Signing, The Jewish Museum - FIU - Miami Beach, Florida
Miami PhotoFest - Miami, Florida


2018

Opening Night, Curated by Orly Kadosh and Edith Shiro - ArtHood56 - Miami, Florida

Member Exhibition, Juror Brian Clamp - The Center for Fine Art Photography, Fort Collins, Colorado

 

2017

AS IS, Sagamore Hotel - Miami Beach, Florida

Exhibit, Curated by Dr. Rebecca Senf, Houston Center for Photography - Houston, Texas

2016 AND EARLIER
VIDA - Gallery 23 - Miami, Florida

HUMAN NATURE - Curated by Jill Schenker - Gallery 23 - Miami, Florida

HUMAN NATURE - Ember Beitler Gallery - curated by Seth Beitler - Miami International Airport, Miami, Florida

Artworks / Obras