multimedia- painting, sculpture, drawing, animation, printmaking
Katherine Toukhy’s multidisciplinary practice encompasses mixed media, installation, painting, public works, and video through participatory and solo processes. She embraces embodied knowing and research on the intersectional issues affecting herself/her communities to challenge ongoing narratives of displacement and erasure. A consistent thread throughout her practice has been combining improvised figurative representation with layered materials. Engagements with materials such as collected writings, physical movement, forms from nature, and historical photos become strategies to work out the contradictions inherent in forging space and place in the present, as a Coptic Egyptian person born in the Northeastern U.S. (currently residing in Brooklyn, unceded Lenapehoking). Past artistic projects have included themes such as immigration, gender violence, and militarism. Her figurative cut-outs are embedded with stories of psychic and corporeal transformation, often with surreal elements to describe inner states. Severed female figures find new growth. A fragmented silhouette grows a porcupine-like spine down to her feet; arms become wings and she is falling or maybe flying; a decapitated figure blooms into one with a bushy tree-like head. Toukhy finds shapes by moving her own body or improvising with others then layering in plant forms/ texts/ patterns until she is satisfied with the energy breaking through these dis-membered re-membered forms. Current explorations begin with movement drawings in response to geographic locations and the natural environment, and grow into installations/ public sculpture/ murals combining native plants, figurative abstraction, and Coptic symbols.
Katherine Toukhy lives and works in Flatbush, Brooklyn. In the studio, she transforms figurative shapes into pieces for mixed media, animation, and public art. She has exhibited with the Bronx Museum, the Park Ave Armory, Wave Hill, BRIC, Trestle Gallery, and the Arab American National Museum among others. Select public projects have included a mural for the Flatbush African Burial Ground, supported by the City Artist Corps Grant (2021) and “The Khayamiyya Monument,” a social sculpture commissioned by The Laundromat Project (2017). In 2021, her piece “We Are the Fabric,” was published in Vogue to highlight Park Ave Armory’s “100 Years 100 Women” celebrating women’s suffrage. Toukhy has also worked with support from The Foundation for Contemporary Arts, BRIC Media Fellowship, The Laundromat Project, The Rema Hort Mann Foundation, Brooklyn Arts Council, and The Project for Empty Space, among others.
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