Rebecca Dayan is pleased to announce her debut solo exhibition at the Catherine Ahnell Gallery in New York City. The exhibition, which will open September 8th, 2015 and run through October 11th, 2015, marks the first showing of Dayan’s portraits in the form of a solo exhibition in America.
A native of the South of France, Dayan relocated to Paris at the age of 18 to pursue creative endeavors in the realms of fashion, film, and art. As she began her work as a model, photographers such as Karl Lagerfeld and Peter Lindbergh took an immediate liking to the coquettish beauty and her classing French-girl features. Dayan quickly decided to broaden her already flourishing influence in the fashion industry and struck up a career as a designer, taking on an assistant role under Gabrielle Greiss at Sonia Rykiel. She continued to create a name and presence for herself in the city of lights until 2009, when she decided to relocate again, this time to New York City, where she would pursue a passion for acting. Her acting career has grown rapidly since that year, giving Dayan an impressive collection of features that most recently includes a lead role in the much-acclaimed indie film H., which made its world premiere at this year’s Venice Film Festival. A modern-day Renaissance woman, Dayan consistently feeds her urge to dabble in many different fields. Despite this, she has one specific passion that remains consistent and unwavering throughout all of her other endeavors: painting.
Painting is a talent that Dayan has been quietly pursuing throughout her years of loudly displaying her on-screen and on-the-page abilities. Her watercolor portraits have been published in the likes of L’Officiel Hommes and UNEMPLOYED magazine.
Dayan found unexpected inspiration for her upcoming debut solo exhibition while researching for a role in a film that she will be taking on in the fall of 2015. In the film, entitled “NOVITIATE,” Dayan is set to play a young nun, a role that required much research to understand. Dayan spent time studying stories in books suggested by the director that were either written by nuns or included interviews with nuns. It was during this time spent researching that she found her inspiration. Dayan, a non-religious woman, found intrigue in the way that these nuns expressed their love for God. She found that it ironically paralleled the way a young woman might speak about her first love.
This intrigue led Dayan to further explore the parallels that can be found between passions of religion and passions of eroticism, giving her the idea for the series of watercolor portraits she will produce for her solo exhibition.
“I became fascinated by religious iconography depicting religious ecstasy and the inherent human need to find meaning and solace in altered states — communing with a higher power through religion, sex, drugs, money, etc.” says Dayan. “There is an inherent need in all of us to imbue ideas, symbols, and people with meaning in order to fight the inevitable. Most of the time we distract ourselves to not face the truth, until we reach moments of freedom and bliss. It is in these small fleeting moments that I am interested.”
Dayan, who is fascinated by depictions of the human figure, specifically in heightened states of sensual pleasure, cites artists Egon Schiele, Caravaggio, William Blake, Henry Darger, Marlene Dumas, Francesco Clemente and Matisse as favorite artists that have provided inspiration for her upcoming debut exhibition.
“As far as I can remember I have always drawn or painted people,” says Dayan. “I particularly like studying details; the eyes, a mouth, imperfections of the skin. I am always looking to convey an emotion more than exactitude. Light is an essential part of my work; there is always a contrast between blank space, fragile lines and rich colors.”
Dayan plans to spend the first week of her residency photographing an array of subjects imitating classic religious works of art in an erotic or sexual manner. These photographs will then be the basis for the series of large-scale watercolor paintings Dayan will debut on September 8th with the opening of her exhibition at Catherine Ahnell Gallery.
“I work from a picture because I am intrigued by the juxtaposition of the time spent painting an expression that could be missed in the blink of an eye,” Dayan said about the unique process she intends to use.
While this is how she intends to begin her residency, Dayan sees potential in the idea that this could inspire her in new ways and open her up to new ideas of how to express the parallel between religion and eroticism that has so inspired her.
Dayan is the third female artist to showcase an exhibition at Catherine Ahnell Gallery this year. Dayan follows on the heels of Tali Lennox and Ahn Sun Mi, two other emerging female talents who have exhibited at Catherine Ahnell Gallery in 2015; the live-in workspace, established by Catherine Ahnell with the intent of creating a unique experience through the presenting art in it’s place of creation, has set out to exclusively showcase female artists for the entire year of 2015.
Dayan will join the likes of past exhibitors who have showcased at Catherine Ahnell Gallery including Tali Lennox, Ahn Sun Mi, Miljan Suknovic, Sambre, L’Atlas, Mehdi-Georges Lahlou, Jonas ‘Sun7′ Bournat, TANC, LMDLDZR (LeMoDuLeDeZeeR), and Yaze Yassine Mekhnache, in undergoing the process of living and creating her show within the gallery space.
For one month prior to the exhibition opening Dayan will live within the gallery, transforming the space itself into an art studio wherein Dayan will not only live but also produce the works for the upcoming exhibition for the purpose of allowing collectors and media the ability to understand the artists work and process. The month-long residency will be followed by a one-month solo exhibition of the art created by Dayan within the space. Dayan will celebrate the opening of her exhibition with a private reception on Tuesday, September 8th, 2015 from 6:00PM – 9:00PM at the Catherine Ahnell Gallery, located at 66 Grand Street, New York, NY 10013.
The Rebecca Dayan solo exhibition will be open to the public for the duration of four weeks following the opening reception beginning on Wednesday, September 9th 2015 and closing on Sunday, October 11th 2015 at the Catherine Ahnell Gallery, located at 66 Grand Street, New York, NY 10013.
Rebecca Dayan is a French-born artist, actress, and model. From a young age, the classic French beauty has been passionate about the pursuit of success in all of her creative endeavors. At just 18 years old, Dayan immersed herself into the worlds of fashion and art by moving to Paris and beginning work in modeling. Immediately drawing attention from the likes of Karl Lagerfeld and Peter Lindbergh, this was just the beginning of her flourishing artistic career. After modeling for a time and spending a period assisting Gabrielle Greiss of Sonia Rykiel, Dayan made the move to New York City in 2009. It was there that she began pursuing her passion for acting and building an impressive list of on-screen features, the most recent being her starring role in the much-acclaimed indie film H, which made its world premiere at the year’s Venice Film Festival. As of late, Dayan has spent time focusing on her passion for painting. The artist, who specializes in watercolor, has painted portraits that have been featured in publications including L’Official Homes and UNEMPLOYED magazine. Dayan herself has been featured in leading publications including AnOther Magazine, Elle Magzine, Grazia, InStyle Magazine, Interview Magazine, Into The Gloss, Marie Claire, New York Magazine, Nylon Magazine, Purple Magazine, Refinery29, RUSSH, STYLE.COM, T: The New York Times Style Magazine, Tatler, The New York Observer, The New York Times, The Telegraph, The Wall Street Journal, Town & Country, Vice, Vogue, W Magazine, Who What Wear, Women’s Wear Daily, Wonderland, and more. For further details on the multi-talented creative, visit www.rebeccadayan.com.
REBECCA DAYAN ON SOCIAL MEDIA
CATHERINE AHNELL GALLERY
Catherine Ahnell Gallery Freerunning Art Corp represents recognized young foreign artists by introducing them to the New York market. Debuting in New York these artists have received critical acclaim abroad where they are represented by established galleries such as Magda Danysz and Suzanne Tarasieve. They have also exhibited in art forums such as Foundation Cartier, Espace Louis Vuitton, Palais Tokyo and the Les Bains Douches project curated by Magda Danysz – an art exhibition showing installations from the world’s most prominent street artists. It’s not just a gallery. It’s a live in work space with the goal to create an unique experience by presenting art in it’s place of creation. The idea of the gallery came to Ahnell while living in Paris for three years before opening the gallery, meeting with artists as a collector. The meeting with Yassine Mekhnache was especially important; he was also the very first artist in residence and co-director in the beginning. “This project is a gift to myself,” says Ahnell, “an experience I would like to share with others.”
CATHERINE AHNELL GALLERY ON SOCIAL MEDIA