Nina
Levy

Born 1967, Los Angeles, CA
Lives and works in Brooklyn, NY

Year created:
1999
Headlong, Nina Levy
Click images for larger view

84" x 28" x 37"

Resin, steel, automotive paint
Lent by the Artist

No longer on view.

Joined by Big Baby, Headlong is one of two sculptures by Nina Levy located on the Museum's Roof Terrace. Levy created these sculptures at different times and did not intend for a narrative to arise between them, but situated together on the roof, these works form a humorous relationship. Poised to hurl its own detached cranium over the edge of the Roof Terrace, Headlong's nude female figure has lost its mind.

Levy plays with the proportion and configuration of the human form in her sculptures, detaching body parts so that each appears as a distinct entity. The artist toys with the notion that neither body nor head may be necessary to one another in order to be visually defined as a whole—that each part is intrinsically independent. Levy seeks to determine whether "certain additions or subtractions to the human body might make metaphorical, or even practical, sense. [She is] interested in how the body can be monstrous and appealing at the same time." Headlong achieves this duality by maintaining almost all normal human features. The nude female form displays sufficient human attributes to be pleasing to the eye, but it is simultaneously disturbing and repulsive due to its detached head.

The artist typically uses herself as a model for her figures. She explains: "I use my own head and body as source material. I am interested in treating myself as a stand in for an "everyman" or perhaps an "every woman", and am not interested specifically in sculptures or photographs as portraits of an individual." Clever and comic, Levy's sculptures challenge traditional notions of beauty associated with the female form in their bizarre and unnatural disjunctions.