Inside King’s Leap gallery, a tiny space on the fifth floor of a multiuse Tribeca building, a large gelatin mold is currently decomposing. The cone-shaped orb was constructed by 32-year-old Canadian artist Sharona Franklin. She’s titled it Mycoplasma Altar, and filled it with real daisies, rose thorns, juniper berry, metal nuts and bolts, kidney beans, amoxicillin pills, and glass syringes with expired antibodies, among other found objects. The gelatin powder and almond extract sculpture is the centerpiece of Franklin’s first solo exhibition in the U.S., titled New Psychedelia of Industrial Healing. It’s complemented by two UV-printed ceramic plates, as well as a hanging quilt featuring her original photography and graphics.
The show is a sampling of Franklin’s body of work, which she’s been producing since she was around four years old. As a child, the artist was diagnosed with Still’s disease, which causes severe, painful inflammation of the joints and internal organs. She also contends with endometriosis and two blood disorders, among other physical issues. One purpose of her work is to challenge perceptions of disability and chronic illness. A phrase on the bright quilt in the gallery reads, “Pity is a sin greater than any sick-ness.” CONTINUE READING