Two Senior Thesis Shows by Anna Kalfaian and Nathan Makarewicz

The Program in Visual Arts at the Lewis Center for the Arts at Princeton University will present “G(oo/ew),”an exhibition of sculptural paintings exploring the dichotomy of beauty and revulsion by Princeton senior Anna Kalfaian, and “Everything’s for $ale,” an exhibition of works in a range of media exploring social status, wealth and privilege by Princeton senior Nathan Makarewicz. Their work will be on view March 27 through March 31 in the Lucas Gallery and Room 301, respectively, at 185 Nassau Street. An opening reception with Makarewicz will be held on March 28 at 6:30 p.m. in Room 301, and an opening reception with Kalfaian will be held on March 28 at 7:30 p.m. in the Lucas Gallery. The exhibitions and receptions are free and open to the public.

sculptural painting

One of the sculptural paintings by Anna Kalfaian to be included in her senior thesis exhibition, “G(oo/ew).” Photo credit: Anna Kalfaian

In “G(oo/ew),” Kalfaian delves into the tension between beauty and disgust in relation to tactile materiality, using a variety of materials including gummy bears, hot glue, soap, dead bugs, jelly and paint to illustrate this complex contrast. Inspired by a discovered soap dispenser in which three bugs were suspended in the thick coral soap, Kalfaian observed that the bugs, which are viewed by many as repulsive, were suspended elegantly in a liquid that was associated with cleanliness, yet also disgusting in its own right due to its viscosity. Gluing beads onto the insects is another form of taking an artfully intricate natural object associated with distaste and indicating a higher level of aesthetic beauty. In other works, gummy bears, associated with being cute and delicious, are transformed into objects of revulsion when coated in hot glue or displayed at a massive size, raising questions about scale and the divide between precious and sickening. Her other independent work includes interactive performance art, which she plans to incorporate into the exhibition, providing visitors a hands-on, visceral experience with these materials.

Kalfaian is a senior from Milford, New Jersey majoring in visual arts and a member of the Princeton women’s crew team. She notes that the course “Body and Object: Making Art that is both Sculpture and Dance” course with Martha Friedman and Susan Marshall was especially influential in developing her independent work. After graduation, Kalfaian plans to apply for museum internships and take a year to build her portfolio before applying to M.F.A. programs.

woman portrait

One of the prints by Nathan Makarewicz to be included in his senior thesis exhibition, “Everything’s for $ale.” Photo credit: Justin Goldberg

In “Everything’s for $ale,” Makarewicz explores the significant degree of wealth, social status, and privilege that he had not encountered before coming to Princeton. Through a variety of media such as paintings, drawings, prints, collages, and sculptures, he delves into the culture of the wealthy, its related problems, and how he himself has bought into that culture to a certain degree. For example, one of his pieces includes cutting up antique dollar bills, which takes away their monetary value, but the pieces are still recognizable as currency, which itself has an artistic design.

Makarewicz is an ecology and evolutionary biology major from Salt Lake City, pursuing a certificate in visual arts and is a member of the swimming and diving team at Princeton. He has taken a range of studio courses with the Lewis Center for the Arts, noting that one of the most influential has been printmaking with Daniel Heyman. Makarewicz plans to take a year off after graduating before entering medical school.

Both Room 301 and the Lucas Gallery at 185 Nassau Street are open Monday through Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.