VON LINTEL GALLERY

Saturday, August 2, 2014

MELANIE WILLHIDE | 'Hallucinatory Portraits That Rethink the Ways We Look at Women' — Featured in SLATE



By David Rosenberg 


This post contains nudity.


Through formal portraiture mixed with plastic flowers, images from Playgirl magazine, reference to nightshade potions, and other source material, Melanie Willhide’s series "Henbane for Honey Bun" takes a hallucinatory look at the ways in which we look at women.

The series took root, so to speak, a couple of years ago when Willhide began photographing flowers. At the same time, she was also making portraits of women in her life she felt were fascinating beyond their physical beauty.

Willhide, who is in her late 30s and a native East Coaster, was also beginning to feel as if she were being forced outside the realm of visibility in Los Angeles.

“The way people address me has shifted—people call me ma’am now—and there is a level of anonymity, even invisibility, since I also don’t work in the industry,” she said.

She visited the arts and crafts store Moskatels in Los Angeles, a place where "everything natural is made out of plastic" and began photographing artificial flowers, mixing them into the portraits of women.
 



"I started to create compositions that are part fake flower, part female subject. One never ages and never dies, and the other is subject to the culture of youth and perfection."

She also bought a decade’s worth of Playgirl magazines, thinking of the ways in which women's fantasies played out in the magazine, and started sourcing some of the images into the portraits. Once the images began to take shape, Willhide showed them to a friend who commented on the shifting cultural references represented in the portraits.

"This one looks like a hair commercial, and this one looks like a pre-Raphaelite painting, and this one looks like a 1960's Playboy Bunny, and this one is one of those kids from The Village of the Damned," Willhide recalled about her friend's reaction.

"In these images there are various pop culture references for the viewer to engage with, which is in many ways what I intend, but ultimately it is my hope the subjects transcend the points of reference. There is a moment when you realize the human element, a struggle, a person like all of us who is aging and full of desire."


Willhide, whose previous series, "To Adrian Rodriguez, With Love," was featured on Slate last year, said working on the project is intuitive, shaped from a place of feeling where after a lot of trial and error, the images begin to feel right to her. 

"The language reveals its meaning at a certain point," she said about her work. "I hate the beginning (of a project). It is so painful, alone in my studio on the hill, surrounded by houses filled with cowboys and Cal Tech professors—and having only my dog to show my work to, but when the cake starts baking, that’s the exciting part for me." 

Willhide titled the series "Henbane for Honey Bun" as a nod to "flying ointments," or salves that are infused with psychoactive herbs or plants (such as Henbane) to transport the user into a hallucinatory state. 

"The hallucination that manifests inspired the way the images look," she said. "Since taste is the new talent, and everything is borrowed and remixed to create the new, my new work is a historical cocktail of sorts. The hallucination created for my audience is a historically referential one." 

Willhide will show the work at the Von Lintel Gallery in Los Angeles opening Sept. 6. 

Read full article @ SLATE

'Ambitious' | Installation Photos


















Saturday, June 28, 2014

VON LINTEL GALLERY: Summer Group Show | 'Ambitious'


Von Lintel Gallery introduces the entirety of its program in one summer group show. Ambitious. The work, while spanning a variety of mediums and employing an array of technique and points of view are all linked by an ambitious element be it scale, process, subject or context.
Izima Kaoru and Farrah Karapetian draw upon the fantasies (the former) and memories (the latter) of their subjects to create large-format performance portraits. Floris Neusüss abstracts his subjects’ features by exposing their figures directly onto photographic paper whereas Roland Fischer conversely intensifies them, by using their dress, in this case, the habit of a Cistercian monk, as a framing device.

Mark Sheinkman’s graphite erasure paintings are created through a subtractive, sculptural process. Klea McKenna builds volume by folding photographic paper while Pierre Cordier & Gundi Falk use incisions as a vehicle to combine the materials of painting with the chemistry of photography.
Wendy Small references Victorian lace-making in her photograms composed with artifacts found in her daily life as mother and nurse. Melanie Willhide delicately treats photographs as artifacts themselves, merging the frontside image and backside notation as a nod to the nostalgic narrative we often attach to the medium.

Innovative processes such as Rosemarie Fiore’s conceptualization of a firework-wrangling apparatus to build colorful, topographic reliefs contrasts with Tim Maguire’s calculated approach to painting following the CMYK digital printing model. Stephen Ellis transposes musical structure into interlocking grids and fast swipes of color while Canan Tolon infuses the tenets of architectural construction into slices and cuts of paint that somewhat inexplicably approximate the realism of photographic collage.

The paintings of Catherine Howe and Antonio Murado offer a fresh perspective on 17th century still-life and landscape, respectively. Joseph Stashkevetch riffs on drawing and photography; slowly building light and shadow with conté crayon, sandpaper and water washes on rag paper.
Valerie Jaudon’s concern with line formally dialogues with Minimalism, Geometric Abstraction and Systems art but as a founding pioneer of the 1970s Pattern and Decoration Movement, her paintings also possess a link to minor forms often marginalized by the dominating art culture at that time.

Featuring: Pierre Cordier & Gundi Falk, Stephen Ellis, Rosemarie Fiore, Roland Fischer, Catherine Howe, Valerie Jaudon, Farrah Karapetian, Izima Kaoru, Tim Maguire, Klea McKenna, Antonio Murado, Floris Neusüss, Mark Sheinkman, Joseph Stashkevetch, Wendy Small, Canan Tolon and Melanie Willhide.

Monday, June 9, 2014

FARRAH KARAPETIAN | Begone and present. In the solid-state-nowness. — Feat. interview TAR Magazine


FARRAH KARAPETIAN


Interview by Luca Lisci

Farrah's chromes are object of immanence. 
The world is your metaphor, 
and you are totally caught up in it.


Your ‘visuals' are so present but yet so ethereal… really fascinating... In some of your most iconic works, objects are really put in a documentary  mood. Can we talk of ‘scientific’?


FK  People have used the word "forensics" with respect to my work: the objects imply their association with an event larger than themselves, even if their identities are very banal. One might try to piece together a narrative - fictional, documentary, personal, or scientific - to associate with any one of them, but that narrative is as much linked to personal association as it is to larger events of cultural significance. One writer called the work more of a metaphor than a record, and I appreciated that, because I don't think in a literal way.

Certainly, when I invite people into the darkroom to reenact a memory in front of a piece of photosensitive paper, they are "performing", and each resulting image is an artifact of their performance more than it is an artifact of the original event that they remember. I consider even photograms that result from my own solo experimentation to be artifacts of performance. When I go into the darkroom with a certain set of objects - which I call "negatives" - and a certain set of formal parameters - such as the dimensions of a piece of paper or a particular color palette I'd like to achieve - I then have to be flexible to the improvisational nature of color printing. Color printing is done entirely in the dark and so one uses one's hands a lot to feel physically what one is drawing out with one's tools. What happens next can't be taken back...

I suppose this is the nature of all photographic work: something happens in front of a lens and is surprising, hopefully. One wouldn't call documentary work performative, though, because it doesn't rely on enactment, reenactment, or the intentional staging of circumstances that will lead to happenstance.



L  Many of your titles are grouped into dominant threads.. Veterans, Protest, Surveillance, Public, Ruins, Street.. Have  those threads something in common?


FK These threads are themes I have pulled out after the fact of fabrication for purposes of organization. In truth, each body of work emerges from a personal encounter in the experience of which I can imagine a formal and emotional challenge.

As examples of the circumstances of such an encounter: the work I made with veterans emerged from the muscle memory of a veteran of the US Special Forces and the work around protest emerged from my encounter with a pamphlet distributed before the fall of Mubarak, which was given me by my boyfriend's daughter's mother. The work with surveillance emerged from having been told that my photograms looked like X-Rays and then realizing that I could indeed prefabricate what I was seeing online in terms of X-Rays on the scale of the international border. Some of the work has emerged in response to the particular architecture or significance of a space in which I was given to exhibit. So they are all just challenges I choose to meet.


Read full interview @ TAR Magazine


 

Friday, June 6, 2014

Mark Sheinkman: New Work | Glasstire — review

 

May 17 through June 21, 2014
2685 South La Cienega Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90034 Get directions
310-559-5700

Mark Sheinkman’s recent gray and white abstractions look like ribbons or rubber bands wound together. He makes them by covering his linen surfaces with oil and alkyd, working in loose graphite, then taking the graphite away with an eraser. This is his first L.A. show with newly relocated Von Lintel Gallery.

Glasstire