Patrick Painter

Larry Johnson / Marnie Weber

08 Feb - 12 Apr 2014

Installation view
Larry Johnson
Untitled (Ghost Stories), 1992
Ektacolor photograph
44.25 x 52.5 inches (112.395 x 133.35 cm) framed
Edition of 45
Marnie Weber
The Lioness, 2007
Collage on light jet print
71.75 x 95.75 inches (182.245 x 243.205 cm) framed
8 February - 12 April 2014

Patrick Painter, Inc. is pleased to present an exhibition of work by Los Angeles-based artists Larry Johnson and Marnie Weber. The exhibition will feature pieces that explore different approaches to photo-based imagery.

Johnson’s stylized text-based works often play off of humor, celebrity fascination and class politics. Johnson creates images by re-contextualizing found materials using his signature graphic style. His narratives and dialogues often originate from newspapers, recordings and magazines and employ dark themes including sexuality, disillusionment, death, and the American Dream.

The voice behind Untitled (Ghost Stories) (1992) addresses memories of the fictional variety. During the 1970’s and 1980’s in America, the media ushered in 1950’s nostalgia. ‘Doris Day,’ ‘patent leather shoes,’ and ‘virgin pins,’ refer to the decade immediately preceding Johnson’s own historical memory. Because the text directly addresses the viewer, there is a presupposition of collective memories. Here Johnson pokes fun at the media-engendered capacity to fondly remember a past that no one ever really knew. "Hungarican" is a combination of ‘Hungarian’ and ‘Puerto Rican’ and alludes to 1970’s comedian Freddie Prinze, who shot himself in the head.

This body of photo-collages by Marnie Weber follow a narrative based on her on-going series, titled, “The Spirit Girls.” The story chronicles an all-female band whose members die tragically, but due to unfulfilled dreams, return as spirits to communicate their message of emancipation. With accompanying music and performance, the group is inspired in part by the American Spiritualist movement of the 1850’s. With their costumes, masks, and wigs, the Spirit Girls create a musical performance that is consciously visual.

In A Warm Deer (2007) a Spirit Girl is pictured lying down in front of a large stag. A snow-covered forest envelops them in the background. Weber’s use of strange, exaggerated color and motifs span a range of art historical and pop cultural references which render the time ambiguous. The sinister look in the Spirit Girl’s eyes defies the child-like innocence of her pose. The mask leaves her emotions up for interpretation. The scene is reminiscent of tableau vivant, and creates a palpable sense that this is a snapshot in her performance-journey. The absurdity and whimsy nonetheless carry dark undertones.

Johnson received his M.F.A. from the California Institute of the Arts and has been shown in many prestigious institutions throughout the world. His work has been featured in exhibitions at Marc Jancou Contemporary in New York (2010), the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles (2009), and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (2009). He lives and works in Los Angeles.

Weber received her B.A. from the University of Southern California, Los Angeles. Based out of Los Angeles, Weber’s work has been exhibited internationally in numerous solo and group shows. She recently had a solo show at Cardi Black Box in Milan (2013) and her work has been exhibited at the Museum Of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (2013), and the Centre Pompidou in Paris (2012)

Tags: Larry Johnson, Marnie Weber