A Home Is Medicine
Aran Cravey Gallery is pleased to present, “A Home is Medicine,” a solo exhibition of paintings by Sarah Dougherty.
A covert revolution is taking place within the domestic Los Angeles landscape of Sarah Dougherty’s mixed-media compositions. In the modest exteriors and intimate interiors, seeds of latent anarchy sprout, take root within the sidewalk cracks and creep into open windows. Conventional notions of linear perspective are challenged and the formal hierarchy of value is collapsed. From this aesthetic upheaval emerges a compositional narrative that is less restricted and more expansive, one that interweaves the artistic constructs of western and non-western traditions together with the diverse artistic practices of the city’s multicultural heritage, offering an alternative perspective to the current aesthetic.
Though the majority of her childhood was spent in central Virginia, Dougherty attributes her reverence for domestic sanctity and decorative bricolage to the transcultural aesthetic she inherited from her maternal Bolivian roots. Time spent teaching throughout Latin America exposed her to various regional artistic practices and sparked her passion for sustainable urban horticulture. In the culturally diverse cityscape of Los Angeles, Dougherty found inspiration in the city’s pastiche of domestic décor and indigenous vegetation. As the artist explains it, “homes are the places we construct to reflect the self and fulfill our needs… I portrait the artifacts we surround ourselves with- an Itzapalapa student summed this up as ‘Tú eres tu casa, tu casa eres tú’ or you are your home, your home is you.”
In the seven works exhibited for the current show, four of which will be shown in the gallery’s main space on Abbot Kinney Blvd, the other three in the gallery’s annex in the Venice Art Lofts, Dougherty documents her own home interiors and neighborhood house exteriors, often incorporating found fabrics and personal photographs into the mixed media paintings. The works serve as ethnographic portraiture, as much as they do documentation, in that they capture the personal, cultural and historical narratives of a moment and place. Merging the artistic traditions of both western and non-western exemplars, outsider and mainstream, secular and spiritual, Dougherty’s dynamic compositions question notions of fine art’s preeminence over folk art, as well as challenge the institutional, one-point perspective structure. Dougherty accordingly presents an equality between artes plásticas and arte popular within a spatial reality that acknowledges the subjective, visual experience of both the artist and the viewer, offering a fresh perspective on a narrative that is simultaneously foreign and familiar.
Additional works from the show will be on display by appointment at the Venice Art Lofts. Please contact the gallery for further information.
Sarah Dougherty (b.1983) earned her BA from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill in 2005 and received her MFA in painting from UCLA in 2012. Dougherty has taught in various institutes throughout the United States, Bolivia, and Mexico. She instructed students in art and sustainable gardening at the Watts House Project in South Central Los Angeles and was the 2011 artist in residence at the education focused artist collective, Slanguage based in Wilmington, CA. Her work has been published in Graphite and New American Paintings magazine and has been shown at the New Wright Gallery at UCLA, New Insights, Art Chicago, and LACE and Found Gallery in Los Angeles. She currently lives and works in San Jose, CA.