artwork from L to R: Jen Dwyer, Tom Prinsell, Sophie Parker

artwork from L to R: Jen Dwyer, Tom Prinsell, Sophie Parker

to be one and myself Jen Dwyer, Sophie Parker, Tom Prinsell curated by Kat Ryals & Lauren Hirshfield presented at the SPRING/BREAK Art Show NY 2019


Kat Ryals and Lauren Hirshfield are pleased to present to be one and myself, a show of ceramics, ephemeral sculptures and paintings from Jen Dwyer, Sophie Parker, and Tom Prinsell. In conversation with the 2019 SPRING/BREAK Art Show theme “Fact and Fiction”, this exhibition discusses multiplicity, masked identity, and deciphering what is true and what’s a farce.

Facades are an assimilation to our environments; they maintain an outward appearance deemed grander than what it contains. The fact of what resides within is hidden behind the fiction of its exterior. Is this because the fact, the truth, is less pleasant? We often accept something even when we may know it to be a hoax. Wandering through a labyrinth, we consume the parts believed to be correct and do not “see” what is really there. Tom Prinsell’s paintings suggest such a trail, depicting towering stone buildings with precarious perspectives. His character The Necromancer self-obfuscates within the grounds of a Medieval-era estate, lit with saturated glows from inside and out. Jen Dwyer’s ceramics visually compliment Prinsell’s stylized and brooding world with a soft Rococo design and palette. The contemporary iconography, however, contrast with themes of gender, power and a feminist political landscape. Sophie Parker’s temporary botanical sculptures equally embody faux and verity. Her works juxtapose the synthetic with the organic and disrupt the facade of assimilation.

Surrounded by velvety-warm navy wallpaper, Prinsell’s paintings lead the viewer on a journey through a mirage-like maze of staircases and corridors. Dwyer’s ceramics glow with candlelight along the way, their “prettiness” leaving viewers bemused into believing the saccharine exterior - works like Pink Hands Candelabra and Stay Soft Urn embody the paradox of ‘fact and fiction’. Prinsell’s romanticized wizard is suddenly revealed in Contact on a break from his daunting fate, perusing a favorite swimsuit magazine. Parker’s saturated flora sculptures echo the Victorian curves and dramatic palettes of Dwyer’s and Prinsell’s works. They occupy floor and air space in whimsical fashion, giving in to the limbo-like nature of their environment. Painted to embellish, mask, and simulate, the plants are obstructed from their origin story so one cannot separate the fictitious and the factual.

In the parable Everything and Nothing, Jorge Luis Borges writes “there is no ‘one’ in him...I who have been so many men in vain want to be one and myself”. Thus, this exhibition considers if fact and fiction exist apart or if there is no cause to tell one from the other. It explores three bodies of work which perhaps exemplify the marriage of both. It’s “cheerfully disorientating” as Norman M. Klein suggests in The Vatican to Vegas: A History of Special Effects; “I say cheerfully, because we know the confusion is intended.” Here, in this limbo, one cannot decipher which is the facade is which is the credible reality.  

to be one and myself ison view at the SPRING/BREAK Art Show at 866 United Nations Plaza, NY, NY with a private press/VIP preview on March 5th, and open to the public March 6th-11th. Fair hours are 11am - 7pm. For any press and/or sales inquiries, please contact Lauren at or visit