Dorota (b. 1978, Poland) and Steve Coy (b. 1978, USA) are a husband and wife conceptual and visual artist duo. Their large-scale public interventions and immersive environments use a variety of mediums, including the “found object”, and often leverage technology in ways that produce unique experiences. Their work is frequently epistemological in nature and explores aspects of the human condition and contemporary society while challenging reality, truth, and belief systems. Projects are often speculative in nature and are influenced by various aspects of other art movements, notably conceptual art, relational aesthetics, surrealism, and street art. The symbolic imagery creates a paradox of image and concept resulting in an aesthetic that has been described as “Dystopian Glamour.”
The two met in Hawaii in 2004 while Steve was attending graduate school at the University of Hawaii, Manoa. Their first collaboration together was with a group of artists, some of whom also attended the University of Hawaii. The exhibition at Art at Marks Garage was named Hygienic Dress League, a name the artists had found in a book referring to a group of men dedicated to dress reform around the 1930’s.
The couple relocated to Detroit in 2007, using the name Hygienic Dress League for a project that would use a corporation as conceptual and performance art. The corporation placed “billboards” in the form of public art in major cities across the world. The faux corporation also aired a TV commercial on local television in Detroit on July 1, 2015 at 1:44:12 am, 2:05:24 am, 10:08:19 am, 3:50:57 pm, and July 2, 2015 at 2:06:04 am during Local 4 news, Ellen DeGeneres and Rachel Ray. Other performances included placing toilet paper with their artwork printed on it in bathrooms across North America. They also projected video into steam vents in Detroit creating holographic images of characters from their corporation.
Other projects and series include Portals, Cross Pollination, and The Five Realms, which are speculative sculptural installations exploring possible future paths for humanity.
Their work has been recognized in various media, books, and film. In 2017 they exhibited at the Museo de Arte Contemporaneo in Bogota, Colombia. Recent residencies include Project DeDale in France, Art Loures Publica in Portugal, and cheLA Foundation in Buenos Aires. They have exhibited at Nuit Blanche in Toronto in 2015 and 2019. In 2021, they were artists in residence at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art.