Last week Art Report caught up with mixed media artist Esmeralda Kosmatopoulos. We met her at SPRING/BREAK ART SHOW where we were confronted with a room full of white, frozen hands all facing away from us and towards a wall with the neon lettering MHOAUNTDH. “They are cast in a texting position,” explained Kosmatopoulos. There was something ceremonial about the room, a temple to what we cherish today: our phones. Art Report’s Amy Purssey visited her studio to discuss MHOAUNTDH (the words mouth and hand interspersed) and to lend her hands as number 19 in the series.
Kosmatopoulos’ body of work stays with you–so perfectly striking a balance between concept and visuals, resonating within us the ephemeral sense of now. Truly hands have become the new mouths, and our fingertips have become a primary source of communication. Kosmatopoulos recalled a moment she had when she was on the subway and observed how everyone was staring blank-faced at their phones. They could be feeling happiness, sadness, awe, annoyance… how would we ever know? All emotions are now tucked away from the surface and viscerally transmitted through our hands.
Be aware that Kosmatopoulos is not meaning to pass any judgment here. She is simply and humbly holding up a mirror to this human moment and documenting it through her artwork. No matter your takeaway from MHOAUNTDH [mu-hoh-uhn-tuh-dah], its core message is clear: our present is unlike any other before, and we are in the midst of an essential transition of shaping our unique, unknowable tomorrow.
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