Bizarre, fun, perverted, naive, grotesque, sordid and charming — the automated Grumildos occupy an unparalleled universe.
Synthesized from the imagination and reality of the shadowy red-light district of Lima, Peru, the plasticine-made Grumildos were created by renowned Peruvian artist Ety Fefer. Part kinetic theater, part art installation and part puppet performance, Fefer found the inspiration for her creations, which she calls “Grumildos,” in the dynamic but often forgotten and rejected characters that populate the margins of society. While the Grumildos could blend into the tapestry of any city’s red light district — San Paolo, Barcelona or Bangkok — here Fefer has created a world for them seemingly straight out of a dream where these creatures can feel at home.
Visitors are invited to the Lower Level Gallery at Museum of Sex to share in this intriquing voyeuristic experience brimming with these mythological half-animal, half-human beings which play in bands or dance to electronic beats. Within the boundaries of the installation, the Grumildos inhabit a world of creative expression free from moral judgments. Through exaggerated gestures and hyperrealistic details, Grumildos share with us their most intimate feelings. In this newfound zone of comfort, their reality is reinterpreted with humor and their humanity restored. Their narratives are left up the viewer’s imagination.
Ety Fefer (Lima, Peru, 1973) has been travelling with her sets of mechanical figures for more than 10 years to nearly 40 locations across the globe — from Australia and Brazil to the Norwegian North Pole. For the first time since a week-long sneak peek in 2007 at Here Arts Center, Grumildos returns to New York City, where they will be on exhibit at the Museum of Sex.
A self-taught artist, Fefer began drawing Grumildos at a very early age. In the early 1990s she first transformed her drawings into puppets and, in 1997, she spent the year in the Czech Republic perfecting her technique. The unclassifiable nature of Fefer’s work has enabled her to exhibit in amazingly diverse environments, including visual arts, scenic, robotic and electronic music festivals, cultural centers and galleries. From 2009-2011 she collaborated with Peruvian master of painting José Tola on Warriors, Monsters and Beasts and worked in Tola’s atelier. Fefer also has had solo exhibitions at such major institutions as SESC Pompeiain São Paulo (2011) and the Spanish Cultural Center in Mexico City (2013).