Pinned Stitched and Glitzed: Challenging Gender Stereotypes

The Anya and Andrew Shiva Gallery
   John Jay College of Criminal Justice,
   proudly presents the exhibition

September 9 – November 13, 2015

Opening reception on Wednesday, September 30, 2015, from 5:30-7:30 PM

with performance by modern dance icon Sincha Hong at 6:00pm

            Unlike sexuality that comes from within the individual, gender role is formed through parental, peer, school and social influences. Many of our early views of life come from the first teachers we encounter. Often our first taste of socially held beliefs such as girls look pretty and are passive, while boys do and are active, are provided to us at this early age. It is important for children to develop strong egos in their socialization phase that can withstand peer and social pressure and to continue in creating healthy relationships.

            With this exhibition largely comprised of delicately appliqued, sewn, pinned and woven works, we are challenging traditionally assigned sex roles and preconceived notions about what are and are not female or male work practices. Consequently, we hope to dispel traditional gender assignations to the work of these artists working with methods traditionally considered as “women’s work” because they are delicately and painstakingly produced.

 Eozen Agopian for example sews her artworks, a task usually attributed to women, yet she seeks to cross the border of art and objecthood by alluding to painting in her fabric works. Renee Magnanti’s patterns serve her as leitmotifs in producing works that are interlaced, crisscrossed, or interwoven like fiber art. She combines ethnic patterns in her effort to help us see the common bond between peoples of different geographic backgrounds. The making of Nicholas Moore’s highly embellished canvasses was greatly impacted through his rearing by parents in the fashion industry. Moore’s mixed media works are encrusted and worked with glittery materials that because of their fragile nature may wrongly be considered feminine in gender stereotyping. Ran Hwang’s work has also been influenced by fashion for it consists of thousands of pinned buttons formulating her subjects that range from Buddhist temples, to spiders and plum blossoms. Hwang partakes of the theory of opposites as in the yin and yang of her native Korean country and because of her background in Buddhist philosophy reflects upon the ephemerality of life. Maria Karametou creates intricate, exquisite and dainty pieces that in their fragility signal what would be popularly taken as feminine embroidery. Karametou’s work is multifaceted, however, and juxtaposes the delicate nature of what might be found in a female’s dowry in Ancient Greece against the cold, metallic, métier with her title’s references to war or conflict.

These five artists were used as examples to break with past models of gender classification embracing the individual aesthetic and unique working method of each show participant. At its core the exhibition questions the idea of ‘women’s work’ by suggesting that it is a social construct perhaps in the service of making the male feel more powerful. It should also take us one step further into de-constructing the traditional stereotypes that in the past have excluded trans-sexuals, and gays.

In conjunction with this exhibition, the celebrated and renowned modern dance icon Sincha Hong (b. 1943-) will be in the United States and present a performance with which to celebrate the opening of this show. Hong lived and worked in the United States from the late 1960s until 1990, founding the Laughing Stone Dance Company in New York City in 1981. She returned to live in South Korea in 1990 collaborating with the gayageum (twelve-string Plucked Zither) player Hwang Byungki. She is considered the first avant-garde dancer in Korea working in a minimalist manner in her bold and minimal short and evening long productions that have been lauded by prestigious magazines and press in Korea and abroad including reviews by the New York Times.

Curated by: Thalia Vrachopoulos

For more information please contact:

The Anya and Andrew Shiva Gallery
John Jay College
860 11th Avenue
New York, NY 10019

Gallery Hours: 1- 5 PM, M – F, or by appointment

About John Jay College of Criminal Justice: An international leader in educating for justice, John Jay College of Criminal Justice of The City University of New York offers a rich liberal arts and professional studies curriculum to upwards of 15,000 undergraduate and graduate students from more than 135 nations. In teaching, scholarship and research, the College approaches justice as an applied art and science in service to society and as an ongoing conversation about fundamental human desires for fairness, equality and the rule of law. For more information, visit


The President’s Gallery,
John Jay College of Criminal Justice, proudly presents the exhibition

from July 2, 2015 – July 31, 2015

Opening Reception
Thursday, July 2, 2015,
from 5:30-7:30 PM

The President’s Gallery at John Jay College is pleased to announce the opening of Omen, an exhibition of recent work by Rodrigo Imaz.

Rodrigo Imaz’s film, paintings, and drawings confront some of life’s most complex emotions and political realities and present them in a manner that is disarming, honest, and full of humor. His ability to look greed, loneliness, environmental destruction, and/or political corruption (among many other cruel realities of life) head on, and morph it in to a work of art that is endearing and subtle, reveals a deft sleight of hand. Imaz makes work that appeals to the heart and mind with wit, historical resonance, criticality, and the urgency of an activist.

For his residency at John Jay College, Imaz uses trash as a means to analyze the economic structure and social relations of a place from bottom to top. This reveals a much different relationship between a community and goods than the more traditional top down approach. Imaz positions himself as a future historian, his work looks back on our present and asks what stories it will tell to the cultures that come after ours. Official histories are written by the powerful, but the garbage, waste, and forgotten items Imaz collects tell the street-level history of the city.

Rodrigo Ímaz

(México, 1982)

Visual Arts studies at the National School of Arts (UNAM) and Master in Artistic Production at the Polytechnic University of Valencia, both graduated with honors. Benefactor through the National Fund for Culture and the Arts for the scholarship program for Study Abroad and twice with the grant Artistic Residency Program (FONCA). Also received a grant from the Jumex Foundation for postgraduate studies. He received Honorable Mention in the Youth Award 2011 (INJUVE). Development Grant from the Film Fund (IMCINE) for the documentary project Juan Perros 2014. He has produced 10 solo shows and several group exhibitions in Mexico, USA, Argentina, Spain, Italy, Holland, Belgium, Germany Poland, Chile and Colombia.  Residency programs: International Studio and Curatorial Program in New York (2010), Art Omi New York (2014), Flux Factory New York and Residency Unlimited New York (2014).

In 2015 he will be a part of the project “The Future is Unwriten” at Palazzo Cini, 56th Venice Biennale.


For more information please contact:

Bill Pangburn
Director, The Anya and Andrew Shiva Gallery
John Jay College
11th Avenue and 59th Street
New York, NY 10019

Gallery Hours: 9 – 5 PM, M – F, or by appointment


IMAG3290 IMAG3273 IMAG3270 IMAG3291 IMAG3277 IMAG3278 IMAG3282 IMAG3287_BURST001 IMAG3289

The One Who Became the Color on a Flag

Orchestrated selection of films, objects, images and text, like fragments and debris, when brought together, construct both implicit and constructed memory, as a filter for determining the context and influencing our way of judgments and thinking, through the created image.  The various situations of absence offer a sort of depository for possibilities. Flexible narratives turn the exhibition into an imperfect text extended in time, an insight into order of things without an appropriate name, and in form of a conceptual gesture provide a dialogue within a coherent space. Selected artist from the same geopolitical background, which are finding ways of presenting and dealing with how dominant ideologies shape our reality and infiltrate into our lives were invited to contribute to the story in order to create a scenery for a dramarticule by using the exhibition as a medium. Fictional narrative that is threaded in between pieces creates a certain distance, while also appropriating them to provide information, where historical representation is interlaced with facts, associations and poetics.  Reading through the pieces is an attempt to remember in a different way, and nothing more.

DSC_0341DSC_0400DSC_0406DSC_0385DSC_0356     DSC_0418DSC_0449  DSC_0460DSC_0468DSC_0538DSC_0479DSC_0517DSC_0483DSC_0558 DSC_0570DSC_0579 DSC_0583DSC_0618DSC_0712DSC_0594DSC_0601 DSC_0603DSC_0622 DSC_0638DSC_0702 DSC_0718DSC_0724 DSC_0721DSC_0733DSC_0772DSC_0743DSC_0757 DSC_0767DSC_0769 DSC_0776DSC_0792

Continue reading

The Writing on the Wall


April 20th, 2015 through May 22, 2015



Wednesday, April 22nd, 2015



 A collaborative installation between the visual artist Hank Willis Thomas and the professor and journalist Baz Dreisinger, The Writing on the Wall comes to John Jay College after debuting in September, 2014, at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Detroit, where it was part of the Peoples’ Biennial.

 The installation is made from essays, poems, letters, stories, diagrams and notes written by individuals in prison around the world, from America and Australia to Brazil, Norway and Uganda. The hand-written and typed pieces were accrued by Dr. Dreisinger during her years teaching in US and international prisons, in the context of both the Prison-to-College Pipeline program she founded at John Jay and her forthcoming book Incarceration Nations: Journeying to Justice in Prisons Around the World.

Continue reading

Panel Discussion on Human Trafficking

                                                                       Image by Steven Cavallo, Hope and Memory, 2011

Tuesday, March 3rd, 2015 5:30-7:30 PM


To discuss human trafficking in sync with exhibit Of Human Bondage at the Anya and Andrew Shiva gallery


Anya and Andrew Shiva Gallery

John Jay College of Criminal Justice, CUNY

860 West 11TH Avenue New York, NY 10019


The distinguished panelists include:

Moderator: Continue reading

108 Kilometers in Exile

 Image by Marina Leybishkis, We Never Dream Of … , 2013

President’s Gallery
at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, CUNY
899 Tenth Avenue, Haaren Hall, 6th Floor
New York, NY 10019

at Anya and Andrew Shiva Gallery
860 11th Avenue, New York, NY 10019
February 17, 2015
from 5:30-7:30pm

February 17th, 2015 through March 27, 2015

Curated by Dr. Thalia Vrachopoulos



Marina Leybishkis questions the validity of the so-called deviant social construct by photographing its subjects: the sick, homeless, mentally ill, unwed mothers, alcoholics, drug addicts, political outcasts, and other marginalized subjects. Leybishkis was initially inspired by a specific phenomenon that existed in Soviet Uzbekistan, her country of birth, called ‘parasitism,’ which was used to connote anyone who led what was considered an antisocial life, i.e. not earning a living. These outcasts were considered high risk and were thus exiled up to 108 kilometers outside the geographical boundaries of what was considered living space for the norm.

Although part of the Soviet Union, Uzbekistan declared itself independent in 1990 when it became part of the Commonwealth of Independent States with Prime Minister Shavkat Karimov at the helm of its authoritarian government. In this stifling atmosphere human rights activists have been systematically arrested and tortured while the religious and political rights of its citizens are crushed on a daily basis. During Soviet rule, the government in its norm setting function determined the identity of its social peripherals or high-risk groups, ergo the 108 kilometer groups.

Leybishkis examines the lives of the relatives, children, and grand-children of some of these exiles, as well as outcasts in general from the present perspective to show that people are still marginalized even through a different title or time period. Although Leybishkis’s work is grounded in her personal experiences with Soviet Uzbeki rules that sensitized her to the subject in general, at the heart of her work is the more general social malaise of inhuman behavior.

Leybishkis’s camera doesn’t sentimentalize the sitters and it doesn’t pity them, but rather it explores their human nature in the face of appalling conditions. This artist’s keen eye first connects with the element most relevant and in need of exposing, then she continues by honestly portraying it in the most sensitive yet direct manner. Continue reading

Of Human Bondage

Image: Untitled, 2011, Eleni Lyra

at the Anya and Andrew Shiva Gallery

John Jay College of Criminal Justice, CUNY

860 11 Avenue New York, NY 10019


February 17, 2015 from 5:30-7:30pm


February 17th, 2015 through April 3rd, 2015

Curated by Dr. Thalia Vrachopoulos



The title of this show is inspired by W. Somerset Maugham’s 1915 novel much of which is autobiographical and in turn, was based on Part IV of Spinoza’s Ethics. Also subtitled Strength of Emotions it is about humanity’s lack of control that can result in a type of enslavement. Perhaps the most destructive of these emotions is the drive for profit which is to a large extent responsible for people’s inhumanity to each other.

Exploitation occurs in multiple ways and in a variety of different industries, this exhibition highlights one small part of that experience, which is exploitation within the sex trade. It is a basic human rights violation that results in the commodification of humans. The victims can span all ages and gender identities orphaned, runaways, and others marginalized by poverty, documentation status, and structural inequity.

Individuals who are exploited through force, fraud and coercion in the sex industry are just one small part of the larger portrait of global inequity. Structural forces such as documentation issues, racial and ethnic barriers, discrimination against trans* and gender non-conforming individuals, and the many ways people face criminalization and poverty make individuals vulnerable to exploitative situations. Trafficking occurs when another exploits those vulnerabilities, whether through the sex trade or other industries. Even within the course of one person’s experience, they may move through multiple trafficking situations in domestic work, factory labor, hospitality, or agriculture.

The five artists in this show Steven Cavallo, Eleni Lyra, Yiannis Christakos, Angelo Gavrias and Photini Papahatzi explore their feelings on the subject of trafficking into the sex trade. Some of their works deal directly with the subject as do Cavallo’s, Gavrias’ or Papahatzi’s while others comment on the topic in a subtler more abstract way as do Christakos and Lyras. Continue reading

Alexandre Dang Installation/Interview

John Jay College of Criminal Justice of the City University of New York, NYC proudly presents Dancing Solar Flowers an exhibition of Alexandre Dang’s ongoing environmental installation as part of John Jay’s 50th Anniversary celebration.

Dang’s scientific educational background informs his Dancing Flowers that are light driven installations raising awareness about sustainable ecological developments. These kinetic paper flowers use solar energy as their power to move, and as they appear applied to the glass facing the Jay Walk, they not only echo the natural backdrop outside thus bringing the outdoor environment indoors, but they also bring joy to everyone viewing them. Continue reading

Assenting Voices: Agitprop Art from North Korea

Image by Cheol Ung Hong “Woman” , 2012

Assenting Voices: Agitprop Art from North Korea.

at the Anya and Andrew Shiva Gallery
John Jay College of Criminal Justice, CUNY
860  11 Avenue
New York, NY 10019

November 12, 2014
from 5:30-7:30pm

November 12th, 2014 through January 23rd, 2015

Assenting Voices: Agitprop Art from North Korea is of seminal importance being one of a few exhibitions of its kind in the west to show formerly inaccessible North Korean art. The paintings and posters in this show feature celebrations of the North Korean regime and its Juche (Self-Reliance) philosophy. Consequently, and because of the morphological and political similarity of the works it is up to the viewer to surpass what is obvious to discern the underlying message. When the Korean art scholar Jane Portal recently visited an exhibition of North Korean Art in Vienna, she asserted “we’ve seen it all in terms of totalitarian societies.” “But” she continued, “this is the last bastion of this kind of thinking that’s bound to disappear. That’s why it’s so important for it to be seen and collected for posterity.”

The depiction of didactic subjects containing pageants, smiling children, hymn-singing youths, street and domestic scenes, upbeat girls and marching men are typical subjects of artists trained in North Korea in propaganda art defined by the government’s needs. This type of vernacular art as was also the case in the Soviet Union remains the paradigm for Socialist Realism in North Korea. In its dramatic, monumental scaled, message-laden tenor this art is meant to arouse comradery firing up as it does nationalistic fervor for the ultimate purpose of the Korean reunification, to maintain order and loyalty to the government and to the revolutionary struggle, and to show the superiority and independence of North Koreans. Cultural expression is part of everyday life and Art Propaganda squads go to the provinces to cheer on workers with songs and poetry and to congratulate them for their creativity as well as to inspire them towards ever greater successes especially during so called ‘speed battles’ meant to increase production. Continue reading