Rachel Klinghoffer is a NY/NJ-based mixed-media artist who creates paintings and sculptures made of repurposed materials.
Her last solo exhibition “If You Like Piña Coladas”, curated by Lauren Powell, is now on view at the One River School in Woodbury, New York and will be open until January 16, 2021.
Through these works, the artist aims to provide a ray of light in hazy and uncertain times like the one we are living because of the pandemic. They remind us of the power, joy, comfort, safety, and possibility that can reside within our own nostalgia, if we so choose to see with that perspective. For the artist, these works represent productiveness, silliness and happiness even in isolation and the capacity of embracing this new adapted version of our relationships and friendships.
Created while sheltering in place with her husband and two young children at their home in South Orange, NJ, the works in “If You Like Piña Coladas” combine personal ephemera related to joyful moments (used lingerie, souvenirs and studio refuse). She create prismatic, self-narratives that symbolically transferred her joy onto the viewers, instilling hope and optimism and igniting a possibility to have a glass-half-full perspective we can truly use right now.
The materials she used for her works range from balloons from her son being brought home from the hospital when he was born, a copy of the ketubah that belongs to her sister’s family, a seashell found by her niece, a piece of a painting from friend, a piece of failed sculpture, drink stirrers from her Grandmother, bras from a collector, and a receipt from the kosher butcher provide a glimpse into what the artist holds onto. These objects are generously passed onto the viewer, completely transformed, sometimes unrecognizable, but the memory remains.
As we all currently seek safety and simplification, Klinghoffer found refuge focusing on imagery of humming horizon lines while isolated in her home studio. Recounted memories with family and friends inspired her to transform these objects into bright horizons, sunsets, oceans, and otherworldly atmospheres. The colors reference the Romantics, particularly the Hudson River School with its emphasis on subtleties and range of light. These relic-like assemblages reflect the artist’s personal connection to femininity, craft-making, Judaism, romance, pushing the definition of painting.