Mark Moore Gallery proudly presents "Bright Mint Virtue" in the Project Room by Annelie McKenzie. Working in heavy oils, playful craft materials, and found frames, McKenzie's work explores the tensions and stereotypes associated with identity. Hinging primarily on the vernacular of gender, her work is an expression of developmental process in both art and selfhood.
The fashioning of one's identity is a clumsy series of trial and error. Pushing through childhood, adolescence, token "awkward phase," and subsequent adulthood, we contextualize ourselves by referencing alternatives – engaging in a lifetime comparison between self and other. McKenzie's gloppy, candid, and purposefully unpolished assemblages and paintings typify the awkward plight of realized versus imagined personage. Haphazard rhinestones are embedded in stylized reproductions of Fragonard, Vermeer, and O'Keefe works, the details of which are obscured by McKenzie's abstract-impressionistic dabs, blobs, and smears. In another dialect of the same language, she explores the arbitrary emblems associated with gender constructs through diptych installations of original and simulacrum works. Rainbows, unicorns, bows, and clouds are assembled on the wall, then meticulously imitated in a sister painting – as if demonstrating the diligent mimicry exercised in creating the projected ego. While riddled with intentional imperfections and inelegance, McKenzie's paintings bespeak the innocence of a shared desire for acceptance or self-fulfillment, and the cultural motifs that shape its incarnations.
Annelie McKenzie (b. 1974, Montreal) will graduate from the MFA program at California State University, Long Beach (CA) in May of 2013. Prior to this exhibition, she has exhibited at the Angel's Gate Cultural Center (CA), Torrance Art Museum (CA), Den Contemporary (CA), and other spaces throughout Southern California. This is her first solo exhibition in Los Angeles, and with the gallery. The artist lives and works in Long Beach, CA.