Flesh fabrications

“Becoming Native” by Tamara Kostianovsky created with discarded textiles on wood.

“Mesmerizing Flesh” is a display using textiles and fabrics to symbolize carcasses. This provocative display by Argentinian textile artist Tamara Kostianovsky is at the Ogden Contemporary Arts Center until April 16.

Kostianovsky’s art is made of old fabric, clothing, and abandoned textiles. Using these different cloth items, Kostianovsky crafts sculptures of vegetation, birds and animal carcasses.

Her art makes important statements about violence and power through colorful imagery displayed on animal carcasses made from the artist’s old clothing.

Kostianovsky moved from Argentina to the United States in 2000 to pursue her master’s degree. During this time, Kostianovsky started to consider textiles for creating art.

“I absolutely did not have money to purchase paint … so I started to look at other materials to make my art with,” Kostianovsky said.

Kostianovsky feels her work covers themes of violence against people and animals.

“Something about these life-size sculptures, that to me, spoke about the female body, violence and meat consumption,” Kostianovsky said. “Replicating them and making more of them speaks to me about the never-ending cycle of violence, and that is something I wanted to represent in my work.”

Kostianovsky also has sculptures of birds with their wings spread. These birds signify the community she grew up in.

Kostianovsky grew up in a Catholic community and felt that the bird imagery had Christian meanings. Like the carcasses, the bird sculptures are also made from brightly colored fabric, but the beaks of the birds are made from acrylic nails.

Some of the textile sculptures are of vegetation and tree trunks out of her fathers old clothing, who has passed away.

“I used some of my clothing and his clothing, so it is kind of a memorial or homage to his life,” Konstianovsky said. “He had spent the last few years of his life dedicated to his garden, so there was something about the botanical imagery that was very fitting.”

A few of these life-size textile tree trunks will be displayed at the exhibition in Ogden among Kostianovsky’s other works.

“Hearing her talk about how she uses her dad’s clothes was really touching,” Jessica Peterson, a psychology major, said. “Among all of the animal carcasses, she has these really pretty tree trunks made out of her father’s clothing.”