Artist sculpts sexuality

Kyle Huizinga, Staff writer

St. Louis based sculptor Deb Wheeler has a display of her work in the Nils Lou Gallery.

The showing is from March 14 to 28 and addresses themes of sexuality, identity, feminism and more. She is well known for using average objects and reconstructing the semiotics to create a new dialogue.

Wheeler works in mainly found objects sculpting and uses her art to ask questions about society and culture. Her works utilize mirrors frequently giving reflection of the self or certain parts of the body.

Pieces such as “Introspection” and “Catharsis” use reflection to focus the viewers’ attention on particular issues.

Pieces like“Self-Love” take a more direct approach in their meaning by taking a set of praying hands and mounting it as if it were to be used for sexual pleasure.

Wheeler hopes that her work makes the viewer, “perceive my reconstructed objects and environments through a new signified idea or sign. Thus, creating a poetic metaphor that is both strangely familiar and jarringly awakening.”

“Privilege” has a large impact in the room and seemed to draw many people’s attention. It was a standard water fountain with a sign placed over it that read “Homosexuals Only,” printed in a manner that looks as if it were part of segregating groups. This seemed to be the favorite of many in attendance.

Junior Keelan Wells said that the installation was “highly interesting” and that it “provoked a cultural and sociological questioning that carried on long after the exhibit.”

Not all of Wheelers works are sculpture, a video installation titled “Weighted” caught the attention of many in attendance. It is a large projection of a popular TV commercial for the Shake Weight slowed down. Showing the bouncing motion of large muscled men over and over while in the room.