Closing out the season this summer, Walter Maciel Gallery presents a group exhibition entitled Valley of the Dolls in Gallery 1 that features works by Timothy Cummings, Andy Diaz Hope, Stella Lai, Brendon Lott, TV Moore, Ramon Ramirez, Beverly Rayner, Frank Ryan, Lisa Solomon, Jennifer Vasher and an unknown artist. Inspired by the 1966 novel by Jacqueline Susann, the show includes topics ranging from the innocence of female adolescence, the exploration of sexuality, the coping of self deprivation, the allure of alter states of mind and the effects of the toy doll.
Andy Diaz Hope uses photography on gel capsules arranged in perfect rows as his backdrops for his moody apocalyptic scenes. One image displays a young girl dressed in traditional face paint for the Day of the Dead celebration. Decorative patterns imposed within the sequence of the capsules replicate a traditional folk art design in primary colors. Likewise Beverly Rayner uses photo assemblage techniques in her work to make mixed media constructions. The integration of the photos into the raw materials creates a process that culminates in the formulation of entirely new fabricated-hybrid-objects.
Brendan Lott uses digital medium as the bases for his made to order paintings. Lott scours the internet for provocative yet awkward images of female adolescence caught up in mundane daily activities. The carefully selected images are sent to China to be painted in a highly realistic format and sent back to the artist for exhibition. Stella Lai is also interested in female adolescence but from traditional Asian perspectives. Using a traditional Tibetan Tonka style format, Lai presents an image of a young smiling woman wearing a sexy floral bra with pronounced cleavage immersed in water from the waste down. Her body is set back behind a patch of leafy flowers and circle of repeated cow deities flanks her like a halo.
Ramon Ramirez presents a group of silk screens entitled Monument, each contains an image of an abstracted vessel or container that can also be read as a pill shape. Within the organic shapes are decals and stickers of sexy women, bold statements and playful icons used to portray the essence of female sexuality. In comparison, TV Moore’s depiction of female sexuality is centered on the repulsive and grotesque. His paper collages consist of altered images of sexy female models shown in scantily clad lingerie cut out of fashion magazines. The faces of each model are drawn over in heavy gestural scribbles to create evil expressions and an overall monstrous effect.
Jennifer Vasher uses different types of pharmaceuticals to create floral designs in her wall constructions. The pills range in shape, size and color and are paired together to form a visual presence as well as a sequence of prescribed medications. The genetic information of unpleasant viruses creates the visual language in Lisa Solomon’s doily drawings. Using stitched thread as well as drawn line the frilly patterns loosely interpret the genetic coding of specific viruses like influenza while evoking an overwhelming sense of frivolity. A second series of stitched drawings displaying groupings of teacups is included hinting of an imaginary childhood tea party with the doll subject in Frank Ryan’s painting. Simply entitled The Doll, Ryan’s subject is painted in a 1960s domestic setting standing upright on her own in front of two elderly women lounging on a couch. The doll controls the setting shown engaged in the same activity as her human counterparts. Likewise, Timothy Cummings depicts a creepy version of a toy doll being clung to by a young girl.