Metamorphosis an exhibition on the work of Paul Gauguin was held at the Museum of Modern Art in 2014. The exhibit focused on Gauguin’s printmaking works and his unique process which evolved and metamorphosed “over time and across mediums”, and projected a “darkly mysterious and dreamlike vision of life in the South Pacific”, as stated by the exhibition statement.
Paul Gauguin traveled to Panama before arriving in the South Pacific, and left soon after, impoverished and ill from working on the Panama Canal. Cast of Women (An Artists Selects) is an imagining of the art Gauguin might have made while in Panama. In the collages and photographs, his search for “primitive” life and racial purity as described in his book Noa Noa are in conflict with the diverse Caribbean topography, and the difficult economic reality of the country he found. Gauguin’s desire to create his own identity influenced by Darwinian ideology, his mythologizing and projection of his subjects, drives these pictures along with my fantasies of his model’s psychological transformation resulting from contact with the artist. Cast of Women (An Artists Selects) is an exploration of what might have been the stories of the women who were his subjects in Panama.