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Many artists spend their entire career perfecting their craft in hopes of having their work featured at the Museum of Modern Art, home to one of New York’s largest collections of art. Townsend Harris junior Sarah Gafur can now put her name amongst greats such as Vincent Van Gogh and Claude Monet, after several of her original pieces were recently featured in the MoMA’s Teens exhibition.
Sarah attended the “MoMa in the Making” summer program and took a class called “The Surreal World” from July 7 to August 13. The course centered around “deconstructing the human figure that a lot of art besides surrealism likes to hold onto,” said Sarah.
Sarah used this class as an opportunity to step out of her element. “Artists like to stick to what they know they’re good at in terms of mediums,” explained Sarah, “and this was the first time that I’ve actually expanded into forms besides 2D which was great and enriching.”
Her first project consisted of taking a styrofoam block and carving it up, then painting it with bronze infused paint and spraying it with an acid to rust it. She named the sculpture “I Met Him In a Dream,” and it resembled a human head.
For her second project, Sarah created a sculpture called “Pierced My Plum,” with plastic bones, plums, clams, and 2D optical illusions. After reviewing the items, Sarah noticed the yonic and phallic trends in the items in the bag, and stated, “the plum or fruit of that nature is considered feminine, and I used the bones to try and convey phallic symbols as I stuck them through the plums; [the sculpture] showed how even femininity can be penetrated by masculinity in a forceful and aggressive way.”
For her third and final project, Sarah melted candle wax to create small sculptures that the class tried to recreate on a larger scale with mixed media which included balled up paper and cardboard, styrofoam, and tape. Sculpt-a-mold was used to cover the entire sculpture and it was painted entirely purple.
Finally they utilized plastic eyes, teeth, and fingernails to try and find a human form in something “having zero resemblance to a human.” Sarah called it “Shadows Anywhere But Here.”
“I Met Him In A Dream,” and “Pierced My Plum,” were on display at the Museum of Modern Art until September 29.