RACHEL FEINTSTEIN’s Fantasies and Grotesqueries

Rachel Feinstein, who in a recent post, was preparing in triplicate for Thanksgiving; painted by her husband, John Currin, is herself a sculptor and painter.




Thanksgiving 2003, oil on canvas. 

John Currin, American born 1962.  Tate Gallery, London from whose website this photo.



Rachel Feinstein, American born 1971

a sample of work from an exhibition at the Jewish Museum in 2019/2021

Maiden, Mother Crone


The sources of the artist’s rich imagination is as varied and particular as any person’s.  For this reason, useful to leave yourself at the door when you enter into her world to appreciate their ambiguity as fully as possible.


Rachel Feinstein leans towards the grotesque, the untidy, even the dangerous which lie just below the surface of a fairy tale;  or of some of the dominant images in our civilization which pass for beautiful and desirable.



Large pieces, light on the ground and so on non-stop rollerskates between Disney World and New York Cool that I had difficulty recalling them once I had re-entered a world outside their orbit.




A view of one of two rooms of the artist’s sculptures in the Jewish museum in 2019-2020





Model, 2000, mirror, wood, plaster, and enamel paint.  Artist loan to the Jewish Museum in 2019/2020

The artist was a model as a young woman and this is a representation of the self-absorption  of the job.





Fat Friend, 2000, wood, epoxy resin, polymer clay, plaster, enamel paint, and gold leaf.  Private collection on loan to the Jewish Museum, NY in 2019/2020 

The artist has said that when she was young and working as a model, she and other models would always have ‘ordinary-looking’ women around, often fat.  In the end, she says, they were the more engaging people.  They were the ones you would want to talk to.





Crucifixion, 2003, plaster, fabric, plywood and enamel paint.  Private collection on loan to the Jewish Museum, NY 

The artist says that a cross dating from the 1500 was the inspiration of this work.









4 characters with women’s names painted with enamel on mirror, 2005 loaned by more than one private collection to the Jewish Museum, NY in 2019-2020





Adam and Eve, 2007, stained wood. photo by Marcus Leith





The second of two rooms exhibiting the artist’s sculptures at the Jewish Museum in 2019-2020.  The room’s wallpaper was the artist’s depiction of Rome, as she sees it,  a copy of an original painting on mirror, 40 foot long.





The Orphan, 2009, wood, polymer resin and enamel paint.  Courtesy of the artist to the Jewish Museum, NY in 2019/2020





Flower Girl, 2010-2011, polyester resin and pigment.  Private collection on loan to the Jewish Museum, NY in 2019-2020. 

She is a character in The Snow Queen, a story by Hans Christian Anderson, about which the artist created a whole theatrical scene for a private commission. 






Mr. Time, 2015, powder-coated aluminum, vinyl and working clock.  Loaned by the artist to the Jewish Museum, NY in 2019/2020







Corinne, 2018, majolica.  Courtesy of the artist to the Jewish Museum, NY in 2019/2020

The artist collaborated with artisans at the Nymphenburg Porcelain Manufactory founded in Munich, Germany 262 years ago to manufacture luxury items and tableware for its royal patron. 

Corinne is a Commedia dell’Arte figure created in porcelain by Franz Anton Bustelli.  His figures he placed on undulating bases like this one.






Butterfly, 2018, polyester resin and pigment over foam with wooden base.  Private collection on loan to the Jewish Museum, NY in 2019/2020

This is one of a number of caricatures of the models who are hired to flaunt the Victoria’s Secret brand of lingerie presented as high fashion encrusted with gems.

To make these figures, the artists molds polymer clay into maquettes, which are 3-D scanned and enlarged to hard foam versions. She then coats them with layers of hand-colored epoxy resin.






Goldstein, 2019, painted wood.  Loaned by the Gagosian Gallery and the artist to the Jewish Museum, NY  in 2019/2020






2 thoughts on “RACHEL FEINTSTEIN’s Fantasies and Grotesqueries

    1. Her exhibition is still up, Louis, probably because of Covid. I will try to photography her view of Rome, painted first on mirrors and mounted now as wallpaper in this exhibition. It may amuse you, too!


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