As you stare at one of Ivy’s IFFM sculptures, a teddy bear wrapped in chains, or a rabbit ballerina hanging upside down, you have to ask yourself; What the fuck is going on here?
All of the IFFM’s that she uses are 100% donated, resurrected to live another life, whispering secrets they’ve witnessed in her ear, as they negotiate the perfect spot they will soon take in the installation. She talks to them? Well yeah, in a sense, I mean, she didn’t just coin this term out of nowhere. Her choice to use “Family Member” definitely fits. The reality is, stuffed animals become more than your best friend, they become the only thing that understands you, we become attached, and what is known as energy transference occurs. No joke, there are currently scientific studies going on trying to understand this teddy bear phenomenon.
With so many IFFM's crossing her path, she became connected to one particular bear, Cig Bear. Before meeting with Ivy, I actually watched this video she shot of Cig Bear. I got chills, and started to really question the range of things we as humans don't have a fucking clue about. I mean does Cig Bear have a soul? Should there be IFFM rights? What I can appreciate about Ivy is that she is an artisit that advocates for people to have their own experiences without input from anyone, not even the artist. You know, like reading a book, you get to make up what the characters look like in your head, before the movie says they all look like Kiera Knightley. If you are looking for the names of her pieces to help out, it won't, because Ivy stays true to this belief by not naming her pieces outside of basic descriptions.
I sat with Ivy Naté in a window booth at Bar 13 near Union Square, close to her old stomping grounds, and the music scene that is the gasoline, to what I would call, a fiery soul. One of the most striking things about Ivy is there seems to be no lie about her. A transparency that is rare to find in a person, and now across from her, it’s completely obvious why I am obsessed with her work. There is an honesty about how she creates that is more than making a sculpture perfectly clean, but rather, just trying to find truth. Not to mention that there is a sense of humor exuding from her work that is a little twisted. I mean nothing makes life more interesting than a little twist.
A term actually coined by Ivy's husband.
Ivy has an IFFM of her very own,
Snoopy, who's been with her since childhood
There is something other worldly when you look at polarities that seem to exist in harmony. We become stuck with limited ability to articulate what we are looking at, and all we can really do is feel. That is a mark of, what I would say, a great artist of our time. Her work is so honest about the human condition, and I think herself, that it’s hard to not to talk about a million things at once, because she is capturing a million thoughts in one piece. The polarities of something adorable with a hint of sinister really speak to the nuance of who we are as people, and how we experience this funny experiment called life. Ivy talks about how she thrives in a place of tension, this place of tug and pull, looking at situations from more than one angle. It is in this space that we often grow as people, overcoming the challenges that are imposed upon us or that we create. We often times hear about how all artist are tortured people because they tap into this place more often than the average. What I find inspiring about Ivy, is that unlike an artist like..hmmm...let's say, Pollack, she is just as brilliant, while encouraging the world around her to thrive despite everything we are up against. It's like she is saying through her work, embrace your shit like you would your tedddy bear, it's not so scary!
Image from ivynate.com
Image from ivynate.com
So how does a total bad ass, who looks like she could most likely be a lead singer for a rock band, start down the trail of working with IFFM's? Well, as she puts it, if it's in you to create, it will need to come out. In her past life she actually opened up bars and lounges throughout NYC. Then, believe it or not, a story about a man, considered to be one of the most evil men to ever live, started launched her curiosity. He too, had a teddy bear. If we are all connected in some way, do we not all have the same capacity to access the depths of darkness and also the highest levels of light as those that make the history books? What does that say about our existence? Deep AF, and yet, the answer really could be in our connection to stuffed animals.
So let's get some practice of experiencing art, because after all that is the point CMB. Below class are side to side videos. The one to the left is Ivy explaining how the video came to be, and to the right is the actual Cig Bear video. We will leave the rest up to you.
Find out who the story was about Push play!
Beyond intrigued by Ivy Naté and you MUST see more? We get it, and we got you covered! Visit her website stat at www.ivynate.com. A large scale installation is being shipped to Hong Kong to show in the International Affordable Fair (Van Rensburg Galleries), but that doesn't mean you can't get a piece of her IFFM kingdom of your very own. We will leave you with one last image, after that you are on your own. Follow her online and see what she's up to @ivynate .