Award-winning artist Camille Eskell exhibits her work extensively in solo and group shows throughout the U.S. and abroad, including Mexico and South America. Her work is in numerous public and private collections, including the Hudson River Museum (NY), Chrysler Museum of Art (VA), MOMA/Wales, the Housatonic Museum of Art, (CT) and the Islip Art Museum (NY). She was a recipient of the 2017-8 Artist Fellowship Excellence awards in the Visual Arts from the CT Office of the Arts, and has also received fellowships in drawing and painting from the New York Foundation for the Arts and the Connecticut Commission on the Arts (now CT Office of the Arts) respectively. The artist has received reviews and features in numerous publications, such as The New York Times, CT Post, The Hartford Courant, D’arte magazine, Art New England, and the Huffington Post, as well as the online journals Posit 19 and Ante Mag. Residencies include Weir Farm/National Historic site and the Vermont Studio Center. Ms. Eskell holds a Master of Fine Arts from Queens College/CUNY, lives and works in the greater New York area, and maintains a studio in Chelsea, NYC.
Her current series, The Fez as Storyteller, is a group of mixed-media sculptures and works on paper that explores the impact of her Iraqi-Jewish and South Indian cultural heritage; it more broadly questions the attitudes, conventions, and indoctrination that insular social and religious systems perpetuate over generations. Steeped in memory, the work addresses the effect of customs and beliefs, gender bias, domination, control, and emotional chaos that formed this background, to upend, critique, and commemorate this tradition.
Resembling artifacts, these works combine material elements, cultural symbols and associations from Middle Eastern, South Asian and Sephardic traditions with reconfigured imagery of family and place. She uses the fez cap (traditional Middle-Eastern headgear) as a structural base for the storytelling to signify the foundation established by her forebears, who left Iraq for Bombay (Mumbai) to become traders of the hats in their adopted land. The crafting of each artwork is meticulous and process-driven: designing, digital imaging, disassembling and re-working garments (many from her archive), procuring accessories and decorative details, hand-sewing and beading are some of the methods used.