Kiki Aranita, Polyphemus Bun - Original Artwork
10 x 4 x 3 inches
Wool, cotton, and acrylic
Kiki Aranita is a fiber artist based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. With advanced degrees in Classical Literature and Comparative Literature and a previous career teaching Greek mythology and Ancient Greek language, she can’t help but see the world through the lenses of myth, often malleable at the hands of many ancient authors. As a classicist, her research focused on dismemberment in epic poetry and especially “sparagmos” – the act of being torn limb from limb – and the reception of classical epic in Renaissance Italian epic poetry. She primarily works with scrap yarn, sourced from neighborhood buy-nothing groups, grandmothers gone to heaven, and knitters who quit. She crochets freehand, treating yarn and string as sculptural components. Now a chef and restaurateur by trade, she also incorporates found kitchen objects into some of her works: foam used to pack olive oil bottles, containers from food, the occasional plate.
"If the gods and elements of Graeco-Roman perceptions of death were bunnies, this is how they would look. Hades Bunny, flanked by Cerberbun and Bunsephone, wields a carrot staff and bears his iconic cap of invisibility. Junius Bunnius, based on Junius Bassus, rises, wide-eyed from his sarcophagus. Testa di Bundusa takes its visual cues from Caravaggio’s Testa di Medusa, the gorgon’s head lopped off and still spewing blood, its expression mimicking that of the artist, vacillating between horror and disdain during the ongoing pandemic. Decaying carrots, made from scrap yarn and garden foliage, sprout from an Etruscan amphora. The Bunderworld series evokes the violence of ktistic myths."
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