Kathy DePalma: The Circus & Other Works
This show includes circus trains carrying wild animals in fanciful cars constructed from recycled cigar boxes and beer cans. Famous circus performers like Chang and Eng, Siamese twins, are portrayed in papier-mâché. Joey Grimaldi, the most famous clown of all time is seen in a cart drawn by dogs with chickens on their heads. In one piece, a mermaid is escaping from a jar. Punch (the puppet from Punch and Judy) is riding on top of one of the cars with his dog, Toby. Freda-Fred, the famous hermaphrodite, poses in a cigar box.
Altogether there are twenty pieces in The Circus. Other works include El Bano de Frida which portrays Frida Kahlo’s bathroom with Frida as a skeleton bathing; La Fruteria de Olga, a three-dimensional Mexican fruit market and vendor; and Para Maria Izquierdo, a three-shelved box containing papier-mâché depictions of Mexican folk art objects.
All the pieces in the show are mixed media and the figures are constructed of papier-mâché over wire armatures. The pieces are painted with acrylic paint, and embellished with gold leaf. The cigar boxes are all from Central America and the Dominican Republic, collected over several years.