Every Self Portrait is a Cry for Help
October 18 – December 15, 2012
Anna Meliksetian and MJ Briggs are pleased to present a new installation by Jason Yates: Every Self Portrait is a Cry for Help. In this exhibition, Yates constructs a hyper-stylized version of a bedroom, a simulacrum that transforms the gallery both into an intimate private space and a public spectacle.
Yates creates a tightly focused installation, a space where common, everyday objects: a bed, end tables, vanity, mirrors, and wallpaper, are freed from their functional categorization. The artist’s characteristic repetitive lines, hatch marks and scalloped patterns move away from the boundaries of the canvas, populating sheets, mirrors, and wall paper. The mirrors, inscribed with Yates’ hatch marks, serve as an entry point into the exhibition, confronting the viewer with his/her reflection, veiled, distorted, and fractured by the artist’s markings. One has to lose oneself to enter the artist’s constructed space.
The totality of this environment, created by the propagation of these simple markings, immerse the viewer into a personal space that belongs presumably to an absent inhabitant. The viewer becomes a voyeur, perhaps contemplating who would live in such a place. Is this bedroom a self-portrait in the sense that it reflects ones identity, desires, and preoccupations; or is it an imaginary place, the product of an obsessive, orderly mind, numbed by the repetitive aspects of every day life? Is this an illusion, both optical and psychological?
“…the bedroom, the garret in which we were alone, furnished the framework for an interminable dream, one that poetry alone, through the creation of a poetic work could succeed in achieving completely.”
—Gaston Bachelard, The Poetics of Space
Jason Yates was born in Detroit, Michigan, in 1972, and currently lives and works in Los Angeles. He received his BFA from the University of Michigan and his MFA from Art Center College of Design, Pasadena, California. His solo exhibitions have included Land of Tomorrow, Louisville, Kentucky; Barbra Davis Gallery, Houston, Texas; Circus Gallery, Hollywood, California, as well as, solo exhibitions in Brooklyn, Las Vegas, Pasadena and Detroit among others. He has been included in group exhibitions in Mexico; Geffen Contemporary at MOCA, Los Angeles, San Francisco Contemporary Exhibits, and (LACE), Los Angeles.
Jason Yates’ exhibitions have been reviewed in publications, such as Artforum, ArtReview and the LA Times among others.
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