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Rebellion in Creation: The Artistry of Wynnie Mynerva

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Rebellion in Creation: The Artistry of Wynnie Mynerva

Text: Mikaela Bautista

Photo: Wynnie Mynerva

July 24 2023

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Many creation stories favor men. Take, for instance, the Christian teaching where God formed Adam from dust and Eve from his rib, portraying woman as both a creation of man and the catalyst for his downfall through the forbidden fruit. Similarly, in Judaic and Mesopotamian lore, Lilith was crafted alongside Adam but was cast out and condemned after refusing to submit to him, doomed to live as a demon.

However, a captivating and rebellious perspective on life’s origins is now showcased at the New Museum in the form of a 65-foot-long panoramic artwork titled “The Original Riot” (2023). This remarkable piece by Peruvian artist, Wynnie Mynerva, presents an unconventional story of rebellion, where Eve and Lilith unite against Adam.

At the heart of the painting lies a climactic scene, portrays Eve offering her lowest rib, known as the “Adam’s rib,” as a symbol of their alliance with Lilith. Mynerva asserts that the artwork challenges the control exerted by male higher powers over bodies and proposes a necessary rebellion, a riot against this domination.

Interestingly, the exchange of ribs in the painting takes on a profound personal meaning for the 31-year-old artist. Mynerva’s own Adam’s rib, surgically removed, is also part of the museum exhibit in a piece called “Remnant of the first cut” (2023).

Mynerva’s exhibition, “The Original Riot,” marks their first solo display in a U.S. museum and offers a glimpse into their artistic exploration of gender fluidity, sexual expression, and radical body modifications. Their paintings are big and bold, and they represent a bold statement of taking back space. Notably, many of their pieces are intentionally made too large for individual purchase, emphasizing that they are meant for communal experiences and public exhibition.

Religious themes are prevalent in Mynerva’s work, influenced by their upbringing on the outskirts of Lima in a predominantly Catholic environment. Although they have distanced themselves from religion, its iconography remains a significant source of inspiration, with gods, goddesses, and anti-heroes serving as fantastical characters in their art.

The exhibition “Wynnie Mynerva: The Original Riot” will be on display at the New Museum in New York until September 17, providing a thought-provoking and immersive experience for visitors.

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