GROUP SHOW - Artist Statements
Brandy Eve Allen – Brandy Eve Allen’s self-portraits explore the artist’s identity, emotional and mental states and the expectations of female experience. Allen is using subtle provocations to imply ownership of her body and environment. Self-documenting is a method for solidifying one’s existence and has always been a way to control one’s own representation. There is a refusal to be still in Allen’s work, a rendering for the ever-changing identity and evolution of self. Allen isn’t just presenting you with a single image to dismiss, she is forcing herself upon the viewer multiple times through sequential presentations. Her work is meant to be somewhat confrontational only with the intention of wanting to connect.
Ida Islas – Ida Islas is from nowhere but she goes everywhere. She’s kind of a Diva, she’s lofi/hifi, it’s all the same. She’s everything you’re scared of being. You can call her if you want 1(800) 644-1403. She’s conceptual, interactive, personal, elusive, she’s a paradox. She’s an agent of intimacy and love, she cares and wants you to care too. Ida is here. She’ll make you coffee if you want. Are you looking for security, artist security? Do you need some validation? Do you want a gift? Ida is dropping roses around the city just for you and all the lovers of the world, for all those who lead with their hearts. Adventure and romance aren’t dead, even when the last rose is wilting. Ida dedicates this to you. She’s here and then she’s gone but she’s only a phone call away.
Aliza Shields – Aliza Shields is from Cayucos California. Constantly inspired by the ever changing elements and geological landscapes, Shields is creating work in remote areas off the central coast and within the city of LA, employing the use of artificial materials. Using plastic, mylar and floating liquids as foreign entities that are worked into environments so as to activate a congruent kinship. Her objective is not to erase the alien nature of things, instead Shields allows elements such as wind or sunlight to synthesize these materials into ephemeral sculptures giving space for new compatibility and integration. Shields’ is fusing together nature, alchemy and empathy, which have become the driving force behind her photographs. They are depictions of coping with displacement while reconciling new lineage.
Cat Marcone – Cat Marcone’s work documents affectionate and visceral experiences within youth culture. Her photographs and writing offer a window into the pressures of becoming an adult while illustrating the unrequited love, discovery and personal transformation one goes through as they come of age. Her work examines connection and interpersonal relationships that existed before the days of Instagram, when people were coming together and making stories rather than posting them. Dante’s definition of hell is “proximity without Intimacy.” In this hell, a room is full of people but no one is truly connecting or seeing each other. Marcone’s work aims to go beneath the surface, where images are less about what things look like and more about what they feel like.
Zstu Zstu – A firework is a beautiful explosion which is what I think this life is. Nature is violent and beautiful, like us. These subjects are not human, they become another object within the context of each image. Their bodies are speaking through a gestural language. Words are overrated. I listen more to the tone and movement of the body. Some of my frames consist of 7 exposures. Photographing the elements at separate times, exposing, rewinding and later reshooting the rolls of film, layering and collaging components into context with one another directly onto the film. I could digitally modify my images and make them perfect, but I don’t like perfect, and I also don’t like easy.
Norelle Foster b. 1984 – d. 2012 – Self-taught, Norelle Foster’s involvement is in every step of the process. In her practice, she searched out specific film stocks, most of which are no longer produced, and developed everything herself, exploring remote locations for the perfect landscape, and collecting vintage costumes. Everything in her work is tapping into someone else’s memory - an ancestor, a past life, a stranger from another time. Her photographs take on a mythological ethos, referencing symbolism and archetypes that echo the likes of Lilith, Saint Theresa, Cleopatra and Joan of Arc. Foster’s work speaks to life’s opposites, a facing of one’s mortality where reconciliation takes place. Using the backdrop of the South and Central Coast of California, Foster, who was deeply connected to nature, is using her environment as if it were another character in this tale. Searching with deliberate aimlessness, she’s inventing spaces that have become means for obtaining freedom, and relinquishing from the ineffable thoughts and emotions that can suffocate boundlessness. Her work invokes the antithesis of violence without dismissing its counterpart. Norelle Foster passed away in 2012 and her estate generously loaned the work included in this exhibition.
Gigi Petit – Gigi Petit is seeking a swan song from a moment, one image that encompasses the essence of a Gospel from her youth. The Subject is surrendered to the chaos of what it is to to implode into oneself, but the photo is not about these circumstances. Exploring an orchestrated nostalgia, Petit is using her subjects to convey personal moods and altered flashbacks from her own juvenescence. Tender and beautifully reckless as she remembers it, Petit is exploring memory and recollection. Collecting people who remind her of those from her past who have long since disappeared and establishing new bonds, an attempt to revive what is lost. The question remains on whether she has succeeded or not.
“LA Times article” Digital reproduction of appropriated publication by Laila Fibber (Brandy Eve Allen, Los Angeles 2019)