‘En Casa’ at Duck Creek - 27 East

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‘En Casa’ at Duck Creek

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Misla, "Maritza’s Birthday," 2020, mixed media on board wood, 36" x 24." COURTESY PRAXIS GALLERY, NEW YORK

authorStaff Writer on Jun 4, 2023

The Arts Center at Duck Creek in East Hampton will present “En Casa,” an exhibition of mixed-media paintings by Misla in the John Little Barn. The exhibition opens with a reception on Saturday, June 10, from 5 to 7 p.m. and will be on display through July 9.

Misla is a native New Yorker and mixed-media artist specifically interested in the Nuyorican (New York/Puerto Rican) experience. For “En Casa,” she will present an ongoing series of mixed-media paintings alongside an installation of furniture and other domestic trappings, all of which celebrate the imagery and ephemera of distinctly Nuyorican apartments.

Many of the paintings on view depict interior scenes of the artist’s Queens apartment of over 28 years. Some pieces also reference interiors from apartments in the Lower East Side where she was born and her father was raised. Painted at nearly life-scale, and collaged with various materials (a lace tablecloth, bottles, brand-name labels, a birthday banner) they invite viewers to enter the image as they would enter the space of a room.

One painting titled “Ajax the Great” appears voyeuristic, a view from the outside into an apartment building bathroom, replete with the window grate, a bottle of Ajax and socks hung out to dry from the shower curtain rod. As in many of the works, it is brightly colored and rich in intimate details, a testament to both the rose-colored lenses of childhood memories and also their staying power.

In all of the scenes, the apartments feel lived in and cherished. The artist’s use of prosaic imagery draws the viewer into the warmth and familiarity of each room and examines them as one might examine a portrait.

Misla has described this project as an attempt to map what is left behind when we move from one home to the next throughout our lives. As so many New Yorkers (and Nuyoricans) do not own their apartments, and rising rents often drive a nomadic lifestyle, this gesture of archiving past homes feels all the more poignant.

Misla (b. 1989) is a native New Yorker and mixed media artist specifically interested in the Nuyorican experience. Misla has a BFA, with the support of the first Kossok Fellowship Award, from Hunter College, and an MFA from Queens College. With shows recognized by Remezcla and the Queens Tribune, her installation “Apt. 9D” was also featured in NY Latin Culture Magazine. Select pieces have been exhibited by Plaxall Gallery, Aquarius Studios, with The Latinx Project, and as a Heckscher Museum Emerging Artist. In 2022 she exhibited at the NY Latin American Triennial and at Domesticanx, a group exhibition at El Museo del Barrio.

The Arts Center at Duck Creek is at 127 Squaw Road in East Hampton. For more information, contact duckcreekarts.org.

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