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Cori Teague and Sophia Cianciulli: A Collector’s Guide

Two emerging artists, Cori Teague and Sophia Cianciulli, are reclaiming the female form.

Works featured on offer in West Chelsea Contemporary’s current exhibition: PROVOCATEURS. MAR 13 – MAY 9

Visually arresting and evocative, West Chelsea Contemporary’s current exhibition Provocateurs creates space for mystery by inviting the beholder to generate meaning and construct new context. Universal themes – like beauty, fame, and conflict – are refreshed through a contemporary lens.

Amongst norm-challenging works by world legends like Damien Hirst, Andy Warhol and Salvador Dali, the jewel-toned works of two female emerging artists shine: Sophia Cianciulli and Cori Teague create stunning representations of the female figure that acknowledge an awareness of the male gaze, while offering a thought-provoking challenge to overthrow it and step into the mindscapes of their subjects.

Informed by femininity, sexuality, and the glorification of the female form, their work exemplifies the shifted power dynamic between artist, artwork, and viewer.

Assistant Gallery Director Allee Beatty sat down recently with Cianciulli and Teague to gain a deeper understanding of their worlds and their work.

Read on below to discover these exciting emerging artists on view now at West Chelsea Contemporary in Provocateurs.

Sophia Cianciulli in her studio.

Sofia Cianciulli is a multi-disciplinary body artist from Florence, Italy. Cianciulli grew up surrounded by Renaissance art history’s sexual connotations, and later was influenced by the individualism and diversity of New York feminism. After completing her MA in Fine Art and Central Saint Martins, Cianciulli was shortlisted for The Ingram Prize.

Cianciulli combines painting, performance, digital media, and augmented reality to consider the female body in the post-feminist media age. Her work reflects upon the entangled and co-dependent nature of millennials and the internet, responding with absolute transparency to modern narrative conventions that are an inextricable part of her reality.

Allee Beatty:

What does being a woman artist mean to you? Both as a definition, a condition, and as a practice?

Sophia Cianciulli:

As a definition, being a woman artist means that I can talk about the experience of womanhood and sexuality subjectively. I can explore the narrative from a personal point of view, and then offer a version that is not mediated or interpreted. Unlike male artists that can only represent their idea of the female body, I can express it.

As a condition, I am both the subject and object of my work. Embodying all of my influences of art history as well as contemporary media culture. 

As a practice, I can use my body as an art object, exploring all its forms and possibilities. My objectivity is at the heart of the work, and my role makes it explicit. For me, art is a reflection of life, and in this context, sexuality is an inextricable component.

Cori Teague:

Women artists are on the right path to crossing that threshold that has been created by male artists.  The male gaze is something that is discussed a lot in art, but is still so predominant.  

I think we should be able to get to a place where we can put that stuff out there without it reacting in a negative way.  You’re glorifying the human body for what it is.  

We’re embodying who we are as people instead of trying to alter everything.

We should be able to post these things and be who we want to be and sexualize ourselves if we want to but do it in a way that’s not causing harm

Works by Cori Teague on view and on offer in Provocateurs at West Chelsea Contemporary

Alee Beatty

In relation to your art, is it about the people, is it about the bodies, or both?

Cori Teague:

I think it’s both: My triangles represent the emotional side, whatever I’m trying to say. They always protect. They are chaotic. They are an unseen shield of emotion that we all carry.  I feel like that is the self.

The body is this organic, beautiful thing that was created from something spectacular regardless of what you believe in.

The beauty of the body, or organic nature of it, and then the harsh lines of emotion. That’s what I aim to capture.


Does gender inform your art or does your perception of it affect your work?

Sophia Cianciulli: 

I am an offspring of past achievements – both the product and the subject of feminism. I belong to an emerging genre, navigating the contradictions ad complexities of the postfeminist media age: from privilege, insecurities, validation, sex politics and so on…

My research has a lot to do with life experiences, and how I map out the complexity and conflicts inherent to the issues that I face. The work develops around my perception of femininity and how I can conceptualise those issues using my body. However, I am also influenced by the gendered representation set by male artists though art and literature

Allee Beatty:

When someone calls you a “Woman Artist”, what does that bring up for you?

Cori Teague:

A voice.  I think that there’s something very powerful about being a woman artist, not that men don’t have a lot to say, but I think we have a lot to say that hasn’t been said for as long as men have been saying it.

It feels awesome to be a woman and to be creating amongst a bunch of men.  

Even being on the opposite side of Andy Warhol.

Works by Cori Teague on view and on offer now at West Chelsea Contemporary.

Reach out today to inquire or acquire.



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