Katrina del Mar FERAL WOMEN / FILMED PORTRAITS at Leslie Lohman Museum’s Prince Street Project Space

Installation view of Katrina del Mar: FERAL WOMEN / FILMED PORTRAITS at Leslie Lohman Museum’s Prince Street Project Space, New York, 2016
Installation view of Katrina del Mar: FERAL WOMEN / FILMED PORTRAITS at Leslie Lohman Museum’s Prince Street Project Space, New York, 2016

If art uses reality avoidance to tell us something about the very nature of reality, Katrina del Mar, in Feral Women / Filmed Portraits, her solo show at Leslie Lohman Museum’s Prince Street Project Space, reveals ideas of power and beauty along with the rainbow of the real and theater. She does this through a mix of her stunning photography and authoritative command of a personal vocabulary of pastels and paint on black velvet and black paper. She first gets at the idea of Feral as defined as “existing in a natural state” and “wild,” and then she takes you much further with the relationships all of the media present.

It’s an immersive, thoughtful, and electric mix, capturing the satisfactions of owning what the Feral is.

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Artist Katrina del Mar

As you enter the show, a series of soundless video portraits (Filmed Portraits, 2016) projected offer a subtlety of light and captivating presence. Within these videos her choices are inviting, powerful and also subtle, showing an engaging mix of the raw, wild, theatrical, and fun that set up a sort of tone poem as you enter.

Down the hall, I could spend hours with the cluttered wall of snapshots as they run the full spectrum from the sensual to the poetic and from the theatrical to the real. Even before you see the individual images, the impact of the wall communicates something arresting, deeply complex and alive. One sees a snapshot of a make-out session (I’m sure that anyone who’s eye rests on this image is rooting for the “in the moment” enjoyment and good times to be had by this couple) and then the eye travels quickly over a few more images to settle on a shirtless portrait that seems to look right through you. As you take the time to search the emotion of the subject, the image stops you in your tracks.

Installation view of Katrina del Mar: FERAL WOMEN / FILMED PORTRAITS at Leslie Lohman Museum’s Prince Street Project Space, New York, 2016
Installation view of Katrina del Mar: FERAL WOMEN / FILMED PORTRAITS at Leslie Lohman Museum’s Prince Street Project Space, New York, 2016

These relationships found throughout the show are a pleasure to interpret. It’s always difficult to choose favorites but the black velvet painted portrait with figure reclining in a Clash t-shirt nails a complex ferocity, closeness, vulnerability and authority that simply comes alive. To bring life to anything is not easy, and Katrina nails it. This handmade image is next to a larger than life-size photograph portrait of Kembra Pfahler, nude in blue body paint and a giant teased out black wig, standing next to a life-size skeleton. It sets up a dichotomy between the theater of the photo and the alive-ness of the painted image next to it. The images both compliment and critique each other.

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Installation view of Katrina del Mar: FERAL WOMEN / FILMED PORTRAITS at Leslie Lohman Museum’s Prince Street Project Space, New York, 2016

We now live in a world where opposing ideas exist concurrently in easily accessed media in ways we never imagined. Katrina has always been immersed in completely bearing witness to ideas of beauty that deeply challenge all too many. Her work stops you in a moment. We are all the better for what Katrina reveals as real to us.

 

Feral Women / Filmed Portraits December 9 through December 11, 2016

www.katrinadelmar.com

-GEORGE BATES

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Opening night for Katrina del Mar: FERAL WOMEN / FILMED PORTRAITS at Leslie Lohman Museum’s Prince Street Project Space, New York, 2016
Installation view of Katrina del Mar: FERAL WOMEN / FILMED PORTRAITS at Leslie Lohman Museum’s Prince Street Project Space, New York, 2016
Installation view of Katrina del Mar: FERAL WOMEN / FILMED PORTRAITS at Leslie Lohman Museum’s Prince Street Project Space, New York, 2016
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Installation view of Katrina del Mar: FERAL WOMEN / FILMED PORTRAITS at Leslie Lohman Museum’s Prince Street Project Space, New York, 2016
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Installation view of Katrina del Mar: FERAL WOMEN / FILMED PORTRAITS at Leslie Lohman Museum’s Prince Street Project Space, New York, 2016
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Installation view of Katrina del Mar: FERAL WOMEN / FILMED PORTRAITS at Leslie Lohman Museum’s Prince Street Project Space, New York, 2016
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Installation view of Katrina del Mar: FERAL WOMEN / FILMED PORTRAITS at Leslie Lohman Museum’s Prince Street Project Space, New York, 2016
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Installation view of Katrina del Mar: FERAL WOMEN / FILMED PORTRAITS at Leslie Lohman Museum’s Prince Street Project Space, New York, 2016
George Bates

George Bates

GEORGE BATES IS AN ARTIST, ILLUSTRATOR, EDUCATOR AND SURFER LIVING IN BROOKLYN NY. HE IS A PART-TIME PROFESSOR AT PARSONS SCHOOL OF DESIGN. GEORGE HAS CREATED TWO PERMANENTLY INSTALLED OUTDOOR PUBLIC ART PROJECTS FOR THE METROPOLITAN TRANSPORTATION AUTHORITY-ARTS & DESIGN PROGRAM THAT CAN BE SEEN AT 36TH STREET, ROCKAWAY, QUEENS AND CENTRAL AVENUE, BUSHWICK, BROOKLYN SUBWAY STATIONS. His public art commission from the RTD FasTracks, Aurora, Colorado, is now permanently installed as of Sept. 2016 and he's currently working with the Charlotte Area Transit System on a public art project to be installed in 2018. In addition to private collector commissions, his work has been exhibited at the Laguna Art Museum in California, included in a variety of group shows in NYC, appeared in Los Angeles as a temporary public art project and exhibited as a solo show of his sketchbooks in Munich, Germany.

1 Comment
  1. Awesome work and write up! I’m doing a show at the Leslie Lohman pop up space in 2018. Would be delighted to have you review it.

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