Artist Mira Dancy works primarily on large-scale canvases. She also makes wall paintings, neon light pieces, murals, works on paper, and projected images. Her images are of expansive females nudes in active poses of empowerment often with text components that juxtapose advertising with the language of protest.
Dancy studied writing in college, but art professors Amy Sillman and Elizabeth Murray influenced her to change her major to art. She received her B.A. from Bard College in 2001 and her M.F.A. from Columbia University, School of the Arts in 2009.
Her powerful, expressive paintings, often text-based, feature abstracted females rendered in sweeping sinuous lines, vibrant neon colors, and geometric compositions. These women are never shown as passive objects. They have strength, self-possession, and sex appeal. “Strange mothers, icons, ghosts, dear friends, and altered reflections of myself have greeted me on the canvas since I started painting . . . the characters in the paintings are fictional.”
Her earlier work of female nudes, referenced and appropriated from the poses and gestures of 19th century figurative painting, evolved into abstracted forms and mythical figures more goddess-like than human. While myth and history played a role in their presentation, these figures also drew on advertising and branding. Dancy is interested in the advertising culture and wants viewers to reexamine their ideas about femininity, power, and strength.
In her 2017 “Hollow Body,” three women look at a crouching fourth woman, who looks to be in the middle of falling down. Despite the women’s different expressions and gestures, they are all poised to watch the woman go down on her own. The landscape they inhabit and the bodies of all four women are painted in the same colors of intense reds, pinks, purples, and blues, showing the palpable connection between the woman and nature.
Dancy has exhibited in New York, Los Angeles, Shanghai, Mexico City, Paris, London, and Berlin. Her work is in the permanent collection of the Whitney Museum of American Art, Shanghai’s Yuz Museum, Columbus Museum of Art, and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.