Judy Fox’s Lakshmi is currently on display on the 4th floor of the Chazen Museum of Art. Originally a part of the Chazen’s “The Human Condition” exhibition in Fall 2014, Fox has found her way into permanent standing with the museum. The New York-based artist is known for her uncanny figural work. Through it she explores the projection of human form onto a viewer in the same space as conflicting cultural beliefs.
Lakshmi, 1999, is a hyper-real terracotta sculpture of a young nude girl, frozen mid-dance. Her nudity is emphasized through the position of the girl, making it more than a mere Western art commonality. The dance pose of Lakshmi is classically depicted by a consort of the Hindu god, Vishnu. Fox presents a conflict of sensuality and youth, placing a young girl in the pose of a grown female divinity. Her face looks upwards and out, commanding the reverence of a goddess while communicating the vulnerability of childhood. The piece provokes discomfort and intrigue in the hypothetical life of Lakshmi, who simultaneously appears an earthly child and a grown deity. Judy Fox’s use of the uncanny keeps the viewer alert. Her technical rendering of the girl,with her image confrontational, proves inconsistent with prevailing cultural values.
Lakshmi now resides permanently at the Chazen with several other uncanny works from “The Human Condition,” available to startle and fascinate viewers six days a week.