Lowered Expectations Group Show Opening
Lowered Expectations is an exhibition of four young Los Angeles-based artists whose work investigates human relationships: with each other, with the media, and with ourselves. Katelyn Mosher Hall, Vivian Lin, Jason Vaughn, and Vanessa Vazquez represent a diverse range of approaches to universal themes.
Katelyn Mosher Hall
Hall's work is a dark comedy about life, revolving around her self, friends, and family. The art is intriguing and aesthetically pleasing, and leaves viewers with a feeling of beautiful insanity. The peanut costume pieces are made illogically, with copper plates as etchings. The copper itself is left untreated, with flaws that are then imprinted on the subjects. These flaws mirror our own disorders, reinforcing Hall’s underlying commentary: that “we’re all nuts.” The subjects are photographed with a disposable camera before the image is made into copper, so the root of each image is a "chance" or a "birth.” Hall’s self-portraits suggest raw emotions that are executed throughout the series, reminiscent of the Francis Bacon portraits. Hall, believing that life is just a dark comedy, uses her artwork to remind everyone that we are all a little crazy.
Vivian Lin was born at the cusp of the blowup of the digital age, and in her three decades has witnessed a significant change in how society functions. This series is a response to the digital world we now inhabit and can no longer disconnect from. A key characteristic of this digital age is how technology feeds our desire for entertainment. This series addresses the way in which technology has transformed our source and pace for our guilty pleasure of gossip. The speed of bits of interest such as “Angelina Adopts Another 3rd World Baby!”, “Brad’s Intimate Texts to Jen,” or “Who Killed Michael Jackson?” travel faster than word of your sister’s first pregnancy or of your best friend’s engagement. Technology has simultaneously accelerated communication and yet sapped us of human-to-human interaction. The silhouettes extracted from gossip magazines suggest human forms, and yet are simultaneously dehumanized. In place of a photographic image of the person, the space has been filled with bits of gossip, reduced to snatches and cut off segments of incendiary remarks. Through her distinctive approach to the subject, Lin is conjecturing about conjectures.
Jason Vaughn has a unique photographic style that resonates through the image and into the heart of the viewer. His work centers on subjects who unwittingly reveal their darkest emotions to the camera. In his early career, Vaughn assembled images that addressed the separation of a person’s secret self and public self. He continues to explore these themes, but has also branched out into the physical self and worldlier images. With his hugely successful one-man show in May of 2007, titled Space and the Human Condition, Vaughn attempted to capture the scope of the human condition in a single series. The show demonstrated Vaughn’s roots in street art, graffiti, and photojournalism, while also illustrating his capacity to transcend his influences and forge new artistic ground. In his new work, Vaughn visually documents the slow complacency of Middle America. Suggesting that residents of the Midwest are part of a new Lost Generation, the images show people who resign themselves to predictable lives, and fill their days with idle pastimes.
Vanessa Vazquez’s Disguise, Lies, and Love is fueled by emotions at the time of creation which translate past and present experiences. While the emotions behind the art result from obstacles overcome, her photographs and screen prints themselves are images that come from life events. The content is simultaneously about the beauty of the world seen through dark art, and the way art accentuates the reality of disguise. The viewer’s individual reality, Vazquez suggests, is mirrored in our collective reality. At its core, her body of work is about self-discovery, self-awareness, and the lies that we have to tell ourselves to be understood by others.
Pasadena City College Art Gallery
Division of Visual Arts & Media Studies
1570 E Colorado Blvd.
Pasadena, CA 91106-2003
Artist Reception Tuesday, July 14th, 6:57 – 10:01pm
Show Runs July 14 – 18, 2009
Gallery Hours Tue-Sat 12-4