Reintroducing...love? is a mini-solo-show by Samantha Hensel that focuses on relationships to love and intimacy, fear and toxicity. Through painting, video, and soft sculpture, the work’s main dialogue makes presence within a series of symbols referencing animals, plant life, and “private” belongings. The non-human symbols are loaded with preconceived ideas around the varying images from sexual habits, misunderstood fear, and the ability of beauty to mask toxicity. This imagery of how nature can display these qualities is put in relation to human symbols that emit vulnerability and pleasure. Hensel intends for the dialogue to question our relationships to these ideas and symbols, as well as how we view human intimate relationships with the self and others.
Hensel primarily works within the realms of soft sculpture, painting, performance and video work, focusing on topics of emotional and physical boundaries of freedom, and embracing all human identities and individualities that do not conform to social structures of perfection. She also works on topics in direct opposition to the current trend of hate vs. hate in our high-tension approach to problem solving. In this body of work, Hensel includes her return to the mode of representational painting to also re-introduce personal relationships to love and fear.
Image: Samantha Hensel, Untitled