MaDora Frey's work considers the diminishing boundaries between artificial and organic. Referencing both the idyllic nature of a rural upbringing in the Southern U.S. and the urban nature she encounters daily in NYC, her work takes the form of photographs, interactive kinetic sculptures and mixed media 3D paintings.
In the Rorschach series, Frey photographs assemblages of objects found in her immediate environment. Shiny surfaces and broken glass reflect neighboring buildings and sky. Urban elements such as asphalt and concrete take on the sinewy, geometric chaos of the natural world. The resulting patterns call to mind flowers, plants, and insects of her youth. Untamed flora and fauna become structured, ordered, confineda metaphor for a contemporary relationship with nature of the city. Combining the symmetrical, hypnotic aspects of kaleidoscopes with the spiritual forms of mandalas, the work invites the viewer to find a meditative quality within the nexus of imagery. The series title, "Roschach", refers to ones' ability to ascribe personal symbolism to abstract, symmetrical forms, and the convention of using this personal symbolism as a means of understanding oneself. Though visually complex, the process is minimal. Digitally, the original image is joined with its mirror image to create a Rorschach effect. Through these images, Frey ponders one's ability to find spiritual space in a post-natural world.
The interactive kinetic works align us with animals while exploring the idea of natural instincts, impulses and ritualistic behavior as being machine-like. Motors and ultra sonic sensors bring life to a combination of industrial elements such as plastic, metal, circuitry, and organic materialshair, feathers, and latex. These mechanized "performers" provide commentary on our internal order as well as speculate on what the future may hold.
Her multi-media sculptural paintings synthesize man-made materials and surfaces with the organic forms of landscape, flora, and fauna.
Frey has exhibited both domestically and internationally with solo shows in Seattle, Washington and New York City. Her work is held in the private collections of, most notably, Beatrice and Ludvig Ost Kuttner, Janet Clark, Jane L. Havemeyer, and Charlotte Dixon. Accolades include the Prince of Wales Fellowship in Normandy, France, Ford Foundation Emerging Artist Award finalist, publication in New American Paintings, and grant recipient at Vermont Studio Center. Frey serves as a curatorial chair member of the LES project space, Grand Projects NYC. She co-produced and wrote for ART TLK, an arts interview show on the Conversation Channel, hosted by Pharrell Williams. Her memberships include NYC art collectives Future Present and tart. Frey has instructed and lectured at Hunter College, Rutgers University, New York Academy of Art, Auburn University, LIM College and Abbey Road International Program. Frey studied at the Florence Academy, Florence, Italy and received her MFA, magna cum laude, from the New York Academy of Art.