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Cynthia Talmadge

(b. 1989, New York, New York; lives and works in New York, New York)

Lemon Tree and Household Mail, 2020. Ink on paper. Courtesy of the artist and 56 HENRY, New York.

Artist Statement

Lemon Tree and Household Mail depicts a decorative metal lemon tree from my living room that I repurposed to air out potentially infectious household mail in the beginning of the pandemic. I noticed that perched among the branches were artifacts from systems in states of dysfunction: a stimulus check, the US census, and a sample ballot for the canceled (later reinstated) New York Democratic primary. Matches and a scratched tribute at the tree’s base foreshadow combustion.

Cynthia Talmadge is a participant in Art on the Grid, a citywide, open-air exhibition presented by Public Art Fund. Conceived in the spring of 2020, the exhibition features 50 artists’ reflections on the converging crises of the coronavirus pandemic and systemic racism in our country.

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