Artist Gina Beavers Satirizes Our Insatiable Appetite for Personal Beauty in Her New Show at Marianne Boesky—See Images Here
Beavers's latest exhibition is inspired by a Sex and the City meme.
As galleries and art institutions around the world begin to reopen, we are spotlighting individual shows—online and IRL—that are worth your attention.
“Gina Beavers: World War Me”
through October 17 at Marianne Boesky Gallery
What the gallery says: “Beavers spends hours scouring Instagram, YouTube, blogs, and other online sources in search of images that inspire, compel, repulse, and amuse her. In recent years, she has become particularly drawn to make-up tutorials created by both professional and amateur artists. Beavers takes stills from these tutorials and recreates them with incredible realism, enlivening the flattened image with dynamic physicality. To create her intensely tactile works, Beavers builds up acrylic paint so densely on the canvas that she is able to sculpt it with a knife. For larger works, she also uses foam to add to the fullness of the forms.
“’I am intrigued by the tools of creativity that are proliferating online, particularly when people apply these to their own bodies, from elaborate face and body painting to nail art,’ said Beavers. ‘For the new works in “World War Me,” I began to use these tools on my own body, borrowing techniques from the internet to make certain artists and their work a part of my own physical self. I am interested in the ways existing online is performative, and the tremendous lengths people go to in constructing their online selves. Meme-makers, face-painters, people who make their hair into sculptures, are really a frontier of a new creative world.’”
Why it’s worth a look: The genesis for this series, which focuses to a great degree on the artist’s own body, was a Sex and the City Meme featuring Carrie Bradshaw asking: “as our country entered World War III, I couldn’t help but wonder… is it time to focus on World War Me?”
And so Beavers does, using the toxicity of consumerism and the powerful lure of Instagram as a starting point for works that are as repulsive as they are enticing. Like Bradshaw’s performative introspection, a much-satirized tic of the TV series, Beavers is interested in users’ carefully constructed presences.
The canvases, built up with thick impasto paint, are not so unlike cakey foundation and spidery eyelashes, thick with dried and crusty mascara, just as pillowy soft lips are only achieved through sticky layers, prescriptions, injections, and Facetune.
What it looks like:
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