Bethany Radcliff


If you need your art fix, especially if you’re into fitness (or not, we don’t judge), look no further. An upcoming exhibit will feature an item familiar to many of us: the yoga mat. And not just one, but many, across the floor, and in mixed-media pieces around the walls of the space. The exhibit will also feature the Yoni Egg, one of the most trendy and controversial items in women’s health. 

The innovative exhibit, titled “Fad Bodies,” is the work of Baltimore-based artist Alex Ebstein, and will be on display at VICTORI + MO in East Williamsburg from April 28 to June 4.

Ebstein was inspired to use fitness paraphernalia from workout “fads” she observed, which promise health in pursuit of the impossible: the perfect human body.

After being diagnosed with glaucoma, a condition that causes dangerous amounts of pressure in the eyes, Ebstein fell victim to the false truth that yoga would heal her—but it actually made the pressure in her eyes worse. This led to surgery and a difficult recovery, in which she experienced partial blindness. Through her healing, Ebstein created her yoga mat art.

“I was really interested in this idea of me looking fine but my perception of the world being so different,” Ebstein told Bushwick Daily. Lines were no longer straight, but skewed—and Ebstein saw this trend within the grid-like patterns of the yoga mats, too. Her art reflects the beauty of the imperfection she saw in her own recovering body and makes that feeling tangible.

Ebstein said she envisions her exhibit as “some part gym, some part jewelry store,” with two freestanding, mixed-media sculptures in the center, each displaying a Yoni Egg. The Yoni Egg, recently under fire after being touted by celebrities like Gwyneth Paltrow, claims to promote wellness in women.

Ebstein noticed Yoni Eggs being marketed to her in a “pristine, precious-object kind of way.” The artist included her sculptures to demonstrate “the cross between health and health as a luxury good,” only available to the elite, and the way fitness can sometimes harbor a gender imbalance, viewing women as delicate and vulnerable.

She is thrilled to be working with Victori + Mo in creating a more critical environment for her work, where her sculptures can engage with the meaning of her two-dimensional yoga mat paintings.

“I hope that it lessens the bells and whistles for [the viewers] around [exercise], to where it’s something they know is for themselves and doesn’t have to be part of an aesthetic culture,” Ebstein said of her exhibit.

So come out and see the exhibit, which will be on display from April 28 to June 4 at Victori + Mo on 56 Bogart Street, Thursday – Sunday, 1 p.m. – 6 p.m., and by appointment.

All photos courtesy of Alex Ebstein.