Musee Magazine Review of the Thesis Show mentioning students Iris Xing, Dana Stirling & Nick Alciati

Text by: Isabelle Von Arx | Photo by:  Maya Wald

Walking into the SVA Chelsea Gallery on Wednesday evening, I didn’t know what to expect. The MFA Thesis Exhibition for Photography, Video and Related Media was a shocking mix of mediums and styles and one that truly left viewers inspired. 

The gallery space was set up in three smaller sub-spaces, all of which had their own flow and style or organization. Around the rooms were displays from each artist.  Iris Xing’s “Eat a Rainbow” stole my attention in the first gallery room, with tauntingly bright colors and images of food in different forms. The experience was multi-dimensional in a very cheeky, playful sense and pushed viewers to reimagine food and color as we usually see it. 

In the second gallery space, artist Dana Stirling’s series “Best, with a dash of worse” offered a simple and stunning representation of humanity. Featuring images from discarded scrapbooks of people she doesn’t know, the work comes across as warm, yet haunting. 

The third, and final, gallery room artist Nick Alciati made a work that recreated his adolescent bedroom and stood out from a lot of the more literal video and photography works in the show. The piece examines the roles of gender and sexuality and its effect on a kid growing up. I was so intrigued by the story of it, especially because the artist stood directly next to his work, in drag. This brought the whole piece full-circle – from searching for oneself to finding one’s point of view as an artist. I was astounded. 

The exhibition will be on display until July 1, 2016 at the SVA Chelsea Gallery at 601 West 26th Street, 15th Floor, New York, NY. For more information, see: