Allegories of the Invisible is a solo exhibition of the artist’s work spanning from 2014 through 2019, including several new pieces. Weinberger’s works on paper, paintings and sculptures depict resilient female archetypes as corporeal sites of cultural and social agency. She subverts assumptions and antiquated stereotypes surrounding racial and cultural identity, specifically the sexual objectification of women. Her collaged and painted silhouettes as well as cutout sculptures portray abstracted, peculiar female muses—some dominant, others passive—with exaggerated physical features, such as lips, hair, legs, and buttocks. With the absurdity of the “malformed” shapes and dark humor, Weinberger’s work possesses a unique seductiveness and intrigue while questioning the ideals of beauty and portrayal of women’s bodies as objects of male desire in the media and popular culture, perpetuating desensitization. Weinberger reframes and challenges societal conventions surrounding the representations of beauty, identity, gender, and race. With an interracial Caribbean and American background, Weinberger further examines the complexities of her immigrant heritage, especially in a xenophobic Zeitgeist—exploring the dichotomies of invisibility and visibility, exclusion and inclusion, presence and absence.
Weinberger creates female prototypes that are not identifiable. Bulbous buttocks and legs, multiple breasts and lips, and unruly hair provide the figures with seemingly animalistic characteristics, resonating with the grotesque. These figures possess a history, a past—and serve as psychological sites of tension and anxiety as Weinberger alludes to the notion of otherness in marginalized, black bodies. Dissecting these characteristics, Weinberger states, “I approach my practice much like a visual anthropologist cataloging my private and public experiences to create ‘collections’ and composing my findings as specimens.”
Throughout her work, Weinberger conflates cultural, political and social histories as well as myth making with the present. She continues to expand on the external and internal persona in her muses—examining the macro and micro—which she began over a decade ago. Weinberger categorizes the former as “Strange fruit,” which comments on the exploitation of feminine bodies, and also references jazz singer Billie Holiday’s “Strange Fruit, which was based on a poem about lynching written by Abel Meeropol, a Jewish schoolteacher from the Bronx. This song protested American racism and the lynching of African-Americans.
In the sculptural installation A Grove of Strange Fruit (2018), Weinberger creates a mirrored platform upon which double-sided mirrored figures are intertwined, reflecting the visitors and urban environment—serving as a source of contemplation. Her new sculpture Hanging Fruit Peels (2019), suspended from the gallery’s ceiling, is created from the off-white vinyl backings of A Grove of Strange Fruit. It possesses a corporal shape—a metaphor for a gathering of bodies and communities—as if providing a direct reference to the racial violence of African-Americans. Weinberger often creates reverse silhouettes to highlight the invisibilities of otherness.
In grids of her muses, Weinberger subverts the masculine, modernist, repetitive grid to form her own cabinet of curiosities. In Posthumous Pin-Ups (2014), Weinberger depicts rows of female celebrities who are icons of beauty, such as Eartha Kitt, Elizabeth Taylor, and Anna Nicole Smith, to pay tribute to those who passed away too soon. With graffiti-like gestures along with smeared, overlapping lips of gold paint, Weinberger focuses on objectification and violence rather than the stories of splendor and love. Breaking away from the grid, The Blackout Drawings from the “Excluded Included” series (2016-ongoing) are installed salon style; these tactile works on paper are created from ink, gouache and collage. With a few hot pink lips and a singular gold one on selected works among a sea of darkened portraits, this series focuses on the symbolism of the lipstick as the first piece of makeup toward a passage into woman or the beginning of a first sexual encounter.
In other works on paper and collages ranging in various sizes from 2014-2019, Weinberger spotlights her internal conflicts as well as continues to push the materiality of her process, combining printed and hand painted gestures. Invisible Visibility Snap Shots (2015) comprise a grid of outlined portraits as if they would appear in a yearbook. Seen as “dopplegängers,” these headshots are anonymous portraits, alluding to the invisibility of blackness and passing, while she explores her bi-racial identity as well as double-consciousness and alienation. In One Pink Sunset Among my Midnight Selfies (2019), Weinberger highlights a silhouette of a bust in a gradation of pink among a black grid of ghosted portraits with dark lips. The “Sunset Selfies” series is Weinberger’s newest exploration of the “Invisible Visibility” series that investigates self-defined and created identities—specifically her personal relationship with intersectionality and otherness—using the familiar social media composition. The colors recall those found in a tropical sunset—signifying her birth place and background. Weinberger constructs a portal for the viewer—as if providing an intimate glimpse into the artist's psyche.