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'The Modern Day Madonna' at MSK Eastside Gallery

"The Modern Madonna" at MS Eastside Gallery

Experience a little bit of the Big Apple in the Big Onion at New York artist Ja’Bagh Kaghado’s “The Modern Day Madonna,” which closes this weekend.

The exhibition at the MSK East Side Gallery incorporates photography, printmaking, painting, and abstract symbolism to unique effect. 

“The Modern Day Madonna” was inspired by the meaning of an idealized form of women giving life. In an interview with The Moscow Times Kaghado explained that the artworks are “a metaphor for the most important thing we have in life — the mother-child relationship — and the inner struggles, sometimes psychological, that come with giving birth to another human being.”

Kaghado uses platinum/palladium printing to achieve the trademark distortion in his works. Every print is entirely unique, with platinum tones ranging from black to reddish brown, and incorporating different shades of grey and silver. Neon lights are then fixed to the final works, providing a “halo” for the subject in the image.

Kaghado starts his artworks with a photograph taken on his 4x5 polaroid camera. He builds on this with bespoke platinum/palladium hand printing, a technique created in the 19th century. His artworks combine traditional artistic practice with strikingly contemporary subjects. 

Despite the name of the show, Kaghado isn’t trying to make a statement about Christianity.

“There is no religious aspect to my work and I am not trying to push any religious statement. I believe that those who are struggle and are patient enough to give life to another human being are the modern day saints,” he said.

“The Modern Day Madonna” runs at MSK Eastside Gallery through December 17. 5 Leontyevsky Pereulok. Metro Pushkinskaya. 

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