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Advertising and the Body: Art by Elizabeth Zvonar

A wall-mounted sculpture using mannequin handsHands Across the Universe, 4 adult-sized mannequin hands, custom mount

Elizabeth Zvonar’s works frequently use isolated fingers, feet and eyes as well as references to high fashion to explore advertising and the body. The Canadian artist uses a vast array of media in her work, ranging from hand-cut collage to cast sculptures and found objects.


A close-up detail of a collage work held up by plaster cast high-heelsThe Spectre, The Serpent, The Ghost, The Thing, aluminum-mounted photo print, gold-plated bronze cast high heel shoes, gold-plated bronze cast fingers

Zvonar often attempts to reduce the human body, particularly in the eyes of the viewer, to nothing but a series of disembodied parts. By relating these parts to physical objects, and often using them as such, she addresses the way the human body is sexualized and reduced by advertisements. In one work, she uses casts of feet in high-heeled shoes, topped with casts of her own fingers, to prop up a large two-dimensional work. In another, a suggestively glazed candy dish is nailed to the wall and rendered useless, referencing Marcel Duchamp’s ready-mades and Judy Chicago’s porcelain flowers.


I like Zvonar's approach to her work - despite the sometimes dark subject matter that she explores, a certain sense of humour always seems to shine through in her works. As such, I'm drawn to the exploration, rather than being put off. 


A collage of a cluster of eyes over a dark nighttime landscapeThe Universe is Mental, digital inkjet print  of hand-cut collage

About the author

Dallas Jeffs Art Writer

Dallas Jeffs is the Editor of Artist Run Website's blog. She is a recent graduate of Emily Carr University of Art and Design, where she studied Critical and Cultural Practices. She is passionate about talking and writing about art, and sharing that interest with others. In her studio practice she is a painter, but she considers herself an art writer and educator foremost. If you like art, books and culture with a science fiction twist, check out Dallas' personal blog, HappySpaceNoises

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