Next Big Thing: Sara Mejia Kriendler
Inspired by pre-Columbian artifacts, indigenous mythology, and the sacred power of gold, the New York artist pushes contemporary sculpture in new directions
Inspired by pre-Columbian artifacts and tradition, indigenous mythology, and the sacred power of gold, Sara Mejia Kriendler pushes contemporary sculpture in new directions. Based in Bridgehampton, New York, the artist has developed a visual language that is at once spiritual and symbolic: Gilded terra-cotta eyes implanted in concrete bowls represent the act of vision, and golden mouths cast in a silicone mold from a repurposed cosmetic device reimagine a present-day contrivance as a totem of desire.
Inspiration: “My mother is Colombian, and I spent a lot of time there when I was younger, but then didn’t go back for almost 20 years,” says Kriendler, who experienced an artistic awakening at the Gold Museum in Bogotá during a trip home in 2015. “I had one of the most powerful experiences I’ve ever encountered looking at art. A whole new door opened in my practice.”
“Every object Sara has made has been so quietly profound and poetic; I feel as if I am in the presence of something sacred”JiaJia Fei
On view: In “El Dorado: Myths of Gold,” a group show at the Americas Society/Council of the Americas in New York, through May 18, 2024, she is displaying a sculpture resembling a bowl filled with her signature eyelike objects cast in chocolate molds. “I’ve always thought of the piece as a kind of offering.”
A version of this article first appeared in print in our 2023 Winter Issue under the headline “Next Big Things.” Subscribe to the magazine.
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